Theatre on the Bay Synergy review book ticketsSYNERGY 1+1=3.  Starring Ian and Vivienne von Memerty. Concept/ Choreography Ian and Viv. Lighting David Limbert. Piano Roelof Colyn. Sound Megan Levy. Costumes Viv von Memerty. Ian’s suits Morne van der Schuygg. Music recorded at Damelin Studios. Presented by Pieter Toerien Productions. At Theatre on the Bay until 30 July.

SHEILA CHISHOLM reviews

Having missed Ian and Vivienne (Viv) von Memerty last season I looked forward to seeing this Synergy 1+1 =3 production. In a programme comprising excerpts from popular 1960 and 1970 musicals they showcased themselves as a Gene Kelly Leslie Caron duo. And if Ian and Viv don’t have quite the same star quality, they do have a special connection.

A bare stage, excepting white and black drapes, rostrum for pianist Roelof Colyn’s piano and a three-seater-sofa, left sufficient space for Ian and Viv’s energetic routines.

Theatre on the Bay Synergy reviewGershwin songs

Dressed in black top, pants and unflattering grey tails, after a humourous introduction, they burst into a series of George and Ira Gershwin’s songs such as – S Wonderful, Embraceable You, ending with Stairway to Paradise.

In one of their many quick costume and character changes Ian, in tillet, Russian peasant costume and boots, turned into Tevye – a poor Jewish peasant – to perform If I Were a Rich Man (Fiddler on the Roof). Then with Viv, now wearing a grey peasant skirt, blouse and head scarf, they gave touching renditions of Do You Love Me? and Sunrise, Sunset.

Glamorous costumes

And so Synergy progressed through some glamorous (and not so glamorous costumes), popular songs by Kander and Ebb, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

From the way Ian and Viv move it’s obvious they’ve had serious dance/ballet training. Viv can still “do” the splits, high kick, turn, petit tour, back bend, and has a good arabesque line. Ian is pretty nimble footed. He balances his port de bras lines, and when required the pair dance in total unison.

As no director is credited it’s assumed that, Ian and Viv, over and above conceptualising and choreographing Synergy, direct themselves. That’s unfortunate. A director would have picked up Viv’s voice isn’t what it used to be. As well as noting their choreography doesn’t favour mature dancers, nor professionals of the Von Memerty’s stature.

To Colyn and his band must go Synergy’s honours. They brought delight to many old favourites.

What: Synergy 1+1=3
Where: Theatre on the Bay, Camps Bay, Cape Town
When: 18 to 30 July, 2017
Book:  021 438 3300, or www.computicket.co.za
WS