Performers Ian von Memerty and Gino Fabbri are doing a pop-up mini-tour of KZN as they take their comedy / music show Common and Class to the suburbs since their show was closed down by protesting students on Friday evening at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.
On Friday evening, approximately 200 striking students held an audience of 200 patrons hostage in the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at UKZN campus during a performance of Ian von Memerty and Gino Fabbri’s comedy / music show, Common and Class.
The students wanted total campus shutdown and objected to the continued operation of campus-based Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. The students, pounding on the glass doors of the foyer and chanting, demanded that the show stop immediately to avoid anyone being harmed.
Half way through the show the theatre management stopped the performance and kept the audience in the theatre where they waited for approximately 20 minutes.
“We could hear the students outside getting increasingly more vocal and rowdier, so we led the entire audience (including a paraplegic in a wheel chair) downstairs into the safety of the dressing rooms. We put out all the lights in the theatre, blacking it out, and for the next two hours, we quietly waited for security and police to deal with the situation. Thankfully we had a pro-active policeman in the audience who managed to liaise with what seemed to be a communication spaghetti – and eventually the students were dispersed, and we could lead the audience out,” explained performer Ian von Memerty.
“The Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre staff were magnificent, and the audience was calm, understanding and supportive. Fortunately, no-one was hurt and no property was damaged during the incident,” said von Memerty.
The incident took place at the point in the show when they were performing Sweet Transvestite from the Rocky Horror Picture Show – with Von Memerty in full drag, fish nets and heels as Frank n Furter and Gino in blond wig and tails as his side kick, Riff Raff – having to lead the audience to safety. “You couldn’t script it better!” says von Memerty!
The show, Common and Class, was scheduled to perform at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre until 17 February. Following this incident, performances have been cancelled at the Sneddon
because the safety of their patrons and their property can no longer be guaranteed.
“The show must go on!” In true showbiz style and not wanting to disappoint fans, the tenacious performers have creatively made a plan to ensure that the run continue with as little disruption as possible. Venue mangers hearing of the situation have offered their spaces in order to accommodate the show, and the Sneddon have offered the production a return date in April.
New performance dates are:
Wednesday 13, Thursday 14 and Friday 15 February
Kloof Harvest Church at 7.30 pm
Saturday 16 February
Roy Couzens Theatre, Westville Boys High at 4pm and 8pm.
Sunday 17 February
Hilton Theatre, Hilton College at 3pm
Return season at Elizabeth Sneddon:
April 3, 5, 6, @ 7.30 pm; April 4 @ 7.30 pm and April 7 @ 3pm.
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For all queries, tickets and exchanges, contact Wendy on 082 661 6921
A block-booking from Chartwell Estate was made for Sunday 10 February 3pm show, so when the Sneddon run was cancelled, rather than disappoint the patrons, von Memerty and Fabbri went to the retirement village to entertain 60 residents for the afternoon in their community hall – despite load shedding! Followed by a pop-up performance at Kloof Harvest Church.