This is one of the best shows in SA theatre

Weekend Witness - - Arts -

ONE of the most suc­cess­ful shows in the his­tory of South African show­biz, A Hand­ful of Keys, with Ian von Me­merty and Roelof Colyn, re­turns to Dur­ban for a run at the El­iz­a­beth Sned­don Theatre at the Univer­sity of KwaZulu­Natal, Howard Col­lege cam­pus, to cel­e­brate 20 re­mark­able years from April 2 to April 27.

Von Me­merty is prob­a­bly best known for be­ing a judge on SA’s Got Talent. When not in Hand­ful of Keys, Colyn is a band leader, ac­com­pa­nist, ar­ranger, com­poser, mu­si­cal di­rec­tor and con­duc­tor in and for a myr­iad shows.

Fea­tur­ing a fire­cracker script and two grand pianos played with un­par­al­leled vir­tu­os­ity, A Hand­ful of Keys en­ter­tains with mu­sic and songs from El­ton John, Richard Clay­der­man, Nora Jones, Ali­cia Keys, Billy Joel, The Bea­tles, Ste­vie Won­der, Lib­er­ace to Bach, De­bussy, Chopin, and many more. All the old favourites are still there: the His­tory of the Broad­way Mu­si­cal (100 years in 16 min­utes), the great South African Med­ley, and the Rock ’n Roll fi­nale.

With new jokes and new cos­tumes A Hand­ful of Keys is as sparkling as ever.

The show has played to more than 400 000 people on five con­ti­nents, in 1 250 shows, with five dif­fer­ent cast com­bi­na­tions, and has gar­nered nine na­tional awards af­ter sea­sons across South Africa and be­yond.

The show was con­ceived by and starred Von Me­merty and Bryan Schim­mel in 1994. In 2001, it en­tered its sec­ond in­car­na­tion — again star­ring Von Me­merty, but this time along­side Colyn, who en­joyed a mas­sive suc­cess in the show. The show toured na­tion­ally, and to Lon­don and Aus­tralia (twice). In 2005, Colyn was joined by Capeto­nian Jeremy Quick­fall. In 2008, Jonathan Rox­mouth paired up with Colyn and cre­ated a mag­i­cal part­ner­ship that reignited the show.

The 2009 to 2011 sea­son was a pure tri­umph. All five cast mem­bers, who have done the show in its 18­year his­tory, joined to­gether on stage for what was an ex­tra­or­di­nary night of theatre fire and magic.

Shows are Tues­day to Satur­day at 8 pm, and 3 pm on Satur­days and Sun­days. Book­ing for A Hand­ful of Keys is through Com­puticket.

— Arts Edi­tor.


Ian von Me­merty (in or­ange) and Roelof Colyn (in yel­low) star in A Hand­ful of Keys at the El­iz­a­beth Sned­don Theatre in Dur­ban.

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