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Ian von memerty
Ian von Memerty Entertainer
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MC, Entertainment
Port Elizabeth South Africa
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Actor,Broadcasting,Celebrity,Entertainment,Musician,Performer,Presenter,TV & Radio
Ian von Memerty - the Multi-Award Winning (15) “Captain Entertainment” is known as the ultimate professional and all round entertainer. Energised, versatile and gifted ; this Comedian, Host, Singer, Pianist, Dancer, Motivational Speaker, and Media Coach, has used his experience and “connection with an audience’ to carve a unique niche for himself in South Arica.
His production of “A Handful of Keys” has been seen by more than 420,000 people in over 1400 performances on 3 continents. He hosted “Strictly Come Dancing” for 5 seasons and was the FANTASTIC judge on “SA’s Got Talent” for 4 seasons.

With hundreds of successful corporate events behind him including over a 100 live TV broadcasts, Ian is “the Swiss Army Knife of Ultimate Professionalism”. Funny, classy and hugely entertaining as well quick thinking, secure and in command – he adapts to every situation to ensure that your event ‘works for you’.
He is not only a highly skilled Master of Ceremonies he is the ultimate corporate entertainer – Singer, Pianist, Comedian and Dancer. He has developed a brand of ‘laughter and music’ that appeals to the widest possible cross section of audiences – and his 10 years as host and judge on “Strictly Come Dancing” and “SA’s Got Talent’ have made him a face that is recognisable and loved acoss the country.
He truly offers Bang for Buck!
As a theatre performer and corporate entertainer, he continues to delight audiences country wide.
Ian von Memerty - the Multi-Award Winning (15) “Captain Entertainment” is known as the ultimate professional and all round entertainer. Energised, versatile and gifted ; this Comedian, Host, Singer, Pianist, Dancer, Motivational Speaker, and Media Coach, has used his experience and “connection with an audience’ to carve a unique niche for himself in South Arica.
His production of “A Handful of Keys” has been seen by
PERFORMANCES by Ian von Memerty

This show is full of quicksilver footwork, a fantastic range of well-known numbers, often linking them in medleys, and much humour

Putting on the Glitz is made up of two productions ian and his wife Viv performed on cruise liners - A Touch of Class and the African Elegance Show. These also release an abundance of highly amusing memories with Ian showing his versatility with accents as he relates some of the stories and acts out anything from a doddery old man to a snobbish upper-class woman. There are also some very impressive dance moves where Ian lifts Vivienne onto his shoulders, swings her round and then lowers her down to the splits. It is really great to watch two such experienced and talented dancers ignoring the test of time and still capable of full-on physical energy.
Because the audiences on the cruise liners come from all parts of the world, they concentrated on classic numbers that would be familiar to everyone.
A Touch of Class covers favourites such as In The Mood, Putting On The Ritz, Sway and The Samba, Never Had A Friend Like Me,Stepping Out with My Baby, In the Mood
The African Elegance Show was designed to give passengers a taste of South Africa which gives the pair the chance to bounce through numbers like Waka Waka, Home Talk and Pata Pata, singing in languages from isiZulu to Afrikaans: Homeless andLakushone Langa were reminders that this country carries a lot of pain.
Elegantly dressed and swathed in a dramatic aura of blue light, consummate entertainer Ian von Memerty, immediately captures a warm response from the audience with I’ve Got Rhythm. He’s charming, funny, a talented singer, dancer and pianist and the stage is set for a delightful evening of Putting on the Glitz which had a short run at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until April 7, 2019.
Smoothly moving into the next number, von Memerty is joined by his wife, Vivienne (Lawrence) who is equally elegant and dressed in sequins and a swirling skirt that billows round her as she pirouettes.
A former SA National Latin & Ballroom Champion, Vivienne is well-known for her beautiful dancing and her gorgeous long legs. In this production, she also proves her versatility in just about every dance style under the sun. She also has no less than 21 changes of costume – many of which she has made herself – from glorious sequins to attractive African prints. Ian also changes costume – but mostly it’s changing waistcoats or reversing them! He proudly points out that he personally sewed 1,342 beads on one of Vivienne’s outfits.
Ian and Vivienne have been married for 28 years and tell the audience with delight that they are now free from numerous duties as they no longer have school-going children. They love working and travelling together and so they have gained considerable – and highly enjoyable – experience working as guest artists on luxury liners.


Winner of the 2005 Naledi Theatre Award for The Best Produciton of A Revue - this is world class entertainment. Critics have called the show 'hypnotising and an uplifting joy to watch', 'hilarious and excitingly spontaneous', 'fun-filled magic', 'five star entertainment'. And nightly standing ovations from delighted audiences have agreed that Ian is 'outrageously talented', and 'combines unadulterated entertainment with intelligence and wit' by giving 'a master class in stage performance', because he is 'by turns tender, hilarious, irreverent, biting' and 'fills the stage with easy sparkle'. The Entertainment Superhero stages a complete ten-act variety show single handedly . There is a crisis in the entertainment world. A committed cultural worker, or one who should have been committed several times, is on a musical mission to resuscitate variety and has done just that Theatre is Alive, thanks to Captain Entertainment. Ian von Memerty, one of South Africaas shining entertainment heroes, breaks down the cultural barriers, as Captain Entertainment. Directed by the multi-award winning and superbly gifted Charmaine Weir-Smith, and scripted by the electrifying and satisfyingly eccentric Thandi Brewer - Ian returns in a magnificent new show, stretching his extraordinary versatility even further. A skilfully crafted modern script, has audiences roaring with laughter, with moments poised in silence, and at times the message even sends shivers down your spine. Itts pure entertainment from the moment Captain Entertainment appears on stage and has you laughing all the way through the bizarre and insane incidents in our lives. It is viewed as a roller-coaster ride, with the show drawing the audience in, throughout each phase of musical history. With scenes encompassing Robbie Williams to Mr. Bo Jangles, to Ladysmith Black Mambazo, this supersonic ride plunges audiences into an enthralling view of South Africaas truly colourful history, richly displayed and bringing to life the rainbow nation that we experience today, as well as paying tribute to the spirit of the greatest entertainers who enthralled audiences. The show is an entertainment timeout, to be enjoyed by both local and international audiences. The unique magic of variety is a wonderful mix of comedy and music. Itts a superhuman show, full of very human laughter, and cosmically recognized music with Captain Entertainment itts a one-man rescue mission. Set and Lighting are by Denis Hutchinson. On Piano is Oliver Keys, Costumes are by Margo Fleisch. EXCERPTS

This multi award winning show has several excerpts that work superbly for South African ‘corporate and one-off entertainment.

1.  The Supersonic History of South Africa. Starting in 10000 BC and finishing TODAY Ian whisks you off on a ‘hysterical and deliriously joyous journey thru our history using the best of SA music – from Johnny Clegg to Mandoza ; from Suikerbossie to Lion King. Ian has performed this in front every kind of audience from Bishop Tutu to cement factory workers, from 35 race horse owners to Trevor Manuel, to company personnel of more than a 1000 people – it has become a standard for him. Constantly updated – it will leave your guests uplifted, inspired and positive.
2.  Mr Bojangles – this number is Ian’s most requested performance. An intensely moving, dramatic and musical interpretation is given a diamond distinct shape that only a dancer could bring – it has won awards and accolades.
3.  Singing in The Rain – to the power of ten. From rap to opera, from gospel to boy bands – Ian uses one number to demonstrate his extraordinary versatility and to pay tribute and to poke fun at all the different genres of music that inspire people.
4.  The Ethnic Joke revived – in this PC era – Ian holds the mirror up to all the delights of the rainbow nation and the foibles of ‘types’ that have inspired comics all over the globe. From Mahatma Ghandi to Adam and Eve ; from lawyers to bobbas – they will make you laugh out loud. A lot!
5.  Isipingo – The Greed. Take 5 members of the audience (by surprise), give them characters, costumes and scripts and let Ian direct them on stage in front of the audience and the result is a deliciously funny and completely unforgettable 20 minute soap opera.


Ian von Memerty, the multi award winning entertainer and his wife, Viv, a former S.A. Latin and Ballroom Champion have delighted audiences with their performances over the last 18 years, and in the last 2 years in particular. In 2006 Ian hosted the international dance show Simply Ballroom (as the host of SABC 2’s hit show Strictly Come Dancing he was a natural choice). The show featured 18 of the youngest, hottest and most exciting dancers from the UK – but the audience REALLY loved the numbers that Ian & Viv did together. And from that was born a whole ‘renaissance’. The combination of experience and talent, the honesty and palpable power of Ian & Viv’s personal history and relationship, the sheer glamour of the costumes, and the effervescent joy and skill of the choreography make for a joyous and uniquely entertainment experience. Great music including Kiss ; Lady In Red ; Sway ; Pata Pata ; Dancing Man ; All That Jazz ; and a delightful ‘dance class’ where Ian gets taught a whole lot and then teaches the audience a whole lot more offers the audience an evening of glamour, laughter and skill that is completely accessible and entertaining.

The inimitable music duo Ian von Memerty and Rory Rootenberg perform highlights from their favorite musicals. Rory shares some of the great moments as The Phantom in “Phantom of The Opera”, does “Carmen”, the opera, in ten minutes, sings some poignant and moving Hebrew music and goes through his hysterical Lloyd Webber audition sequence. Ian sings songs from his very popular “A Handful of Keys”, sizzles through sequences from “Big Band Blast” as well as his latest stage triumph “Captain Entertainment” and presents a whirlwind History of South Africa through song and madness. Together these old colleagues and friends provide an evening filled with heart, great harmony, mutual enjoyment


A magnificent celebration of music - Review by Daniel Dercksen Wow, double wow, and nog a wow, is about all one can add to Handful Of Keys, a show that has garnered so much praise and so many standing ovations, that it is impossible to add another compliment! Like a superior wine, with good body and great personality, the teaming of Roelof Colyn and Jonathan Roxmouth is one that has to be shared with friends at least once a week!
Handful Of Keys, the ingenious brainchild of Ian von Memerty who launched this show 15 years ago and now steps in as director, is a magical musical creation that defies description. Two pianos on stage, seduced and lovingly violated with passion and utmost craftsmanship by a talented duo that knows no restraints and transcends all conventional boundaries, Handful of Keys offers gold star entertainment that allows for perfect escapism. From curtain up, with the launch of the electrifying Ragtime intro, you know that you are in for a memorable evening. Watching every move of a piano duel where the battlefield is music, it is a glorious battle of talent and craftsmanship that unifies into a magnificent celebration.
The classical variations of the Beatles' Yesterday is a hilarious journey through musical history, showing how composers Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin (to name a few) would have played the tune in their own style. Colyn and Roxmouth deliver a hilarious onslaught that is truly masterful. This is followed by a segment casting the spotlight on 'women' who have displayed their talent behind the piano, exploring the quirks and foibles of Vonda Shepherd, Blossom Dearie, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys and Nina Simone. Once the ladies have been put through the blender, the piano men get their turn: the highlights of this sequence are undoubtedly Roxmouth's brilliant depiction of Elton John, and Colyn's comical interpretations of Stevie Wonder and Liberace. A fitting South African medley brings the house down before interval with a rhythmical salute to the Click Song, Pata Pata and Mama Tembu's Getting Married.
The true showstopper of the evening is undoubtedly the dream team's performance and deliverance of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue; their craftsmanship, control and passion seep through every note. A further comical display in the fashion of Laurel and Hardy is found in 'Nothing Without You', showcasing the wonderful chemistry between Colyn and Roxmouth, and 'The Accompanist', with Roxmouth turning 'On My Own' from Les Miserables inside out, and Colyn having a very difficult time keeping his partner under control in 'Bare Necessities' - you will have to experience this for yourself as any further descriptions is bound to spoil the fun! Just when you think that the show cannot outshine what you have experienced, or in any way, deliver more magic, the astounding Broadway segment offers an unbelievable (and truly exhausting) journey through 96 years of the Broadway musical in 12 minutes! And then, to add to the rousing finale, the Rock ' Roll sequence featuring 'Great Balls of Fire' and 'Tutti Fruiti' is guaranteed to have you back for another visit to this extraordinary theatrical and musical experience.
Handful of Keys is indeed a proudly South African experience that not only displays the unique talent of two of our greatest performers, but shows what theatre is all about and proof that there is indeed no substitute for the magic of live performance.There are also some very impressive dance moves where Ian lifts Vivienne onto his shoulders, swings her round and then lowers her down to the splits. It is really great to watch two such experienced and talented dancers ignoring the test of time and still capable of full-on physical energy.
PERFORMANCES by Ian von Memerty


1. Microphone – Hand Held Mic – either on very long cord, (30m) or radio mic. (first choice is countryman headset)
2. We provide IPOD. 
3. The client will need to supply a CD player which is operated by the sound desk.
4. Sound Operator – experienced non-panicker (for set-up, sound check  and show)
5. If the Client wants me to play the piano then they will need to supply a grand piano (NOT AN UPRIGHT PIANO) or a full octave weighted electronic keyboard. 
6. Monitors – I generally work without monitors, unless the stage is very dead or I cannot hear the front of house sound. IF necessary two monitors – one for piano area and one for general performance area
7. Microphone stands – 1 boom mic stand (for piano), 1 normal mic stand for standing / singing.  Please make sure that the microphone clips fit the microphone.
8. Some reverb or Fx unit is preferred, and if possible some gaiting facility as I have a HUGE dynamic range.
9. Speakers and desk are per the sound suppliers preference – but should be sufficient to fill the audience area with good quality, clear, warm sound.
10. Stage – should be high enough that all the audience can see me when I am seated behind the keyboard and have enough space for me to move around. 4.8 x 6m minimum , preferably 6 x 8.4 m
11. Lighting – 1. A Lighting operator / technician.
      2. At least a follow spot (preferably 2) and operator(s).
 3. In addition, if possible, three washes with par cans, three white 
Overhead specials, and a range of back lights 
12 Sound and lighting check to commence at least 2 hours prior to audience entering the venue
13. Dressing Room facilities – somewhere private and secure to change, keep clothes, CDs etc. 

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