Taste…the final frontier….two riotously hilarious and versatile performers in a laugh-a-minute clash of cultures. The ultra-classy Ian von Memerty (Strictly Come Dancing, SA’s Got Talent and A Handful of Keys) reluctantly teams up with the unashamedly Philistinian Gino Fabbri (Gino Fabbri is Completely Nuts) for an outrageous musical comedy which will have you rolling on the floor and rocking in the aisles.
The uncommon combustible clash of breeding and culture pits drummer-comedian Fabbri’s dynamic drumming and guitar-playing against Von Memerty’s pyrotechnic piano-ism, resulting in a roller-coaster of musical contradictions. Confronting the gaping social chasm separating them, the incompatible duo tackle everything from mime, drag, beat-boxing, clowning and singing to joke-telling in each of their respective and dubiously effective styles.
Their mismatched machinations sees ‘the ‘battle of the twits’ moving effort-fully from Rock to Rocky Horror, Boeremusiek to Broadway and Country to Classical, even sharing a masterclass on how not to look sexy on the dance-floor along the way. Common is convinced that Class “has a giant stick up his arse”, whilst Class considers working with Common akin to “climbing Mount Everest naked carrying an angry yak on your back”.
Class musters all the self-control he can as he is dragged kicking and screaming through Country cowboy–land, whilst the finer expressions of classical music whistle past Common like a tumbleweed trundling through a deserted town.
The confusion of Ian’s anally retentive Class being forced to work with the dim-witted but moronically enthusiastic Common is the back-bone to a show and which promises to delight with belly laugh after belly laugh!! Blackmailed into sharing his beloved stage and forced to compromise his standards, Class clings desperately to his tattered professionalism as his sense of self disintegrates before our very eyes!
Common, on the other hand, thinks things are going swimmingly, as, spectacularly bereft of any discernable talent, he unwittingly pours scorn on everything Class holds dear.
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 and been nominated a further 17 times
He is best known as the presenter of the hit TV series STRICTLY COME DANCING (5 series), as the ‘faaaantastic’ judge on SA’S GOT TALENT, and for his two piano show A HANDFUL OF KEYS – which has played to more than 400 000 people in over 1400 performances.
The Eastern-Cape based rubber-faced comedian-singer-drummer Gino Fabbri is a popular favourite on the Johannesburg corporate entertainment circuit, where he regularly acts as interactive MC and plays multiple very funny characters over the course of an evening.
He was featured at the Jive Cape Town Funny Festival at the Baxter Theatre last year and returns to the Barnyard following his acclaimed 2016 tour of ‘Gino Fabbri is Completely Nuts’.
As owner of the nationally successful production company Centrestage, Fabbri approached Von Memerty last year and the pair produced a terrific Elton John show together which toured the Eastern and Western Cape.
With Fabbri himself on drums and Von Memerty bringing down the house each night as the flamboyant Elton John, the pre-show backstage banter and one-upmanship which ensued paved the way for their natural collaboration.
The combination of these explosive talents Comedic contortions abound, condescending hilarity ensues and stomach-muscles are given a strenuous work-out as two witty and beloved entertainers take merciless pot shots at each other in the guise of their alter-egos.
Common & Class is a show so funny you will cancel your Prozac prescription and therapy sessions!
COMMON AND CLASS REVIEW – GILLIAN MCAINSH (EP HERALD OCT 2018)
I LAUGHED MYSELF A SIX PACK.
It’s a rare treat for two such superb entertainers to unite for such a class act but that’s what Centrestage has done in pairing Ian von Memerty with Gino Fabbri in this hilarious new show.
The two together are genius, generating music, madness and heaps of belly-laughs.
The keyboard skills of Von Memerty are legendary, as is his amazing versatility.
However, the guitar skills of Fabbri have only recently been unearthed after years of battering the drums and tickling the funny bones. Toss in a few dance moves and it’s hilarious chaos.
In fact, it may be worth the price of a ticket just to see Fabbri thrust his hips through the Floss, not to mention the delectable sight of Von Memerty doing the Timewarp. His take on the Sweet Transvestite of The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a peachy role for this triple threat of the theatre.
The show is named after the characters – Fabbri is raw, rough and ready, while Von Memerty is super-smooth.
The revue has a rather naughty script which is quick and clever. It also includes musical medleys where Common and Class battle out their respective cultural backgrounds in song. Linking mellow ballads with rock stadium belters, they gallop through their repertoire with brisk and bouncy joie de vivre.
It’s a brand new show and in one scene – the “Boet and Swaer” skit on ageing – it was clear the gents on stage were having a ball.
A Handful of Keys, and TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing and SA’s Got Talent have given Von Memerty a national profile, but Fabbri is a well-known and beloved crazy chameleon.
The interval is much needed, not only to refresh the energies of the cast, but also to give your stomach muscles a break.