Ian von Memerty has been variously described as “the English dictionary definition of show-business” and “a confused eclectic”.
He has received 15 national theatre awards, been nominated a further 17 times, (and has no degree).
He is best known as the presenter of the hit TV series STRICTLY COME DANCING (5 series),
as the ‘fantastic’ judge on SA’S GOT TALENT,
and for his two piano show A HANDFUL OF KEYS – which has played to more than 500 000 people in over 1500 performances
Prior to the pandemic he had just completed four international cruises with Viv ;
joining the 1000 voice Capital SIngers project as Resident Director for their extremely successful transfer to the Menlyn Sun Arena ;
created an hilarious and dynamic new show with Gino Fabbri "UNLEASHED" , and directed THE KYKNET FIESTA AWARDS (for the 6th time)
As a theatrical performer his work includes (also directing and scripting) the last 2 successful tours of A HANDFUL OF KEYS, CAPTAIN ENTERTAINMENT, BIG BAND BLAST, SIX OF THE BEST (Best Performance Awards for all of these).
SYNERGY, FANTASTIC 50, KEYBOARD KILLERS, COMMON & CLASS,
THE VON MEMERTYS – A CELEBRATION and THE CIRCLE OF LIFE with his wife and their two children.
Other roles have included the tap dancing Bobby Child in CRAZY FOR YOU, Frank ‘n Furter in THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW,
The Narrator in JOSEPH AND HIS … COAT, Captain Tempest in RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET,
Eugene in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, Buttons in CINDERELLA, Mordred in CAMELOT, and Jeff Barry in LEADER OF THE PACK.
His versatility has made him an ideal performer for compilation shows including
VIVA SUN CITY, A TOUCH OF WEBBER – A TASTE OF RICE, SAY IT WITH MUSIC, 2 ROCK ‘N ROLL SHOWS, MAE WEST AND THE BOYS.
On Television in the early 90's he modeled a very effective Donny Osmond hairstyle as host for 72 episodes of MUZIEK A LA CARTE.
He returned to TV as the host for five seasons of the hit show STRICTLY COME DANCING ;
and was a judge on SA's GOT TALENT for 4 seasons.
As a theatrical director his work includes BIG BAND BLAST, GREASE, BUDDY HOLLY, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW,
as well as scripting and directing JUMP FOR JOY, and THE HEART IS ROUND for UJ, ROCK A TUTU for SABT,
BORN TO RUN and ROCK ME AMADEUS for The Barnyards.
Other shows he has directed include CALL ME LEE, TWO WOMEN IN SONG, FEMME FATALE, TWO THIN MEN SING, SIX OF THE BEST, SAY IT WITH MUSIC, A HANDFUL OF KEYS, CADENZA X-TRAV, PER AMORA,
WHO STOLE THE ORCHESTRA? ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN, GLORY DAYS,
the controversial musical FIELA’S CHILD, for which he wrote the score, script and lyrics,
and UMOJA – THE SPIRIT OF TOGETHERNESS – which has toured the globe!
Directing and Creative Projects for Corporate Events include the TV special for MADIBA’S 85TH BIRTHDAY,
the jazz ballet for THE ENTHRONMENT OF THE BAFOKENG KING,
14 RMB Starlight Classics, 5 Live Broadcasts of The FIESTA AWARDS,
WWF 50th Anniversary, and the MANDELA 100th Birthday Event.
Between 1996 and 2003 he also directed extensively in the corporate market –
everything from huge extravaganzas to tiny little plays.
Since the pandemic Ian has completed his first novel, which is in the publication process at the moment.
He has also launched a YouTube Channel devoted to his original piano music
He is married to Vivienne Lawrence and they have 2 children, Oscar and Kasvia –
“the longest running and most fulfilling production of my life”.