The Pianist

Simple, fun comedy guaranteed to put a smile on your face

The Pianist

Rushing on stage to his dressing room, dusting his face with powder, and, very quickly, swallowing his wine, the pianist immediately proves to be a slightly clumsy, ditsy awkward musician.

We don't get to see his actual entrance on stage until several minutes into the performance - there is no gap in the curtain for him to get through bar a small and awkward hole. This opening had the whole audience, adults and children alike laughing from the off. The Pianist's attempt to start his show is from this point on continually thwarted by a badly placed and unprepared set and uncooperative lighting. As he battles his way to finally sit down at the piano, we are treated to an amusing performance of physical theatre, dance and impressive circus skills.

An entire solo show conducted in near silence could be hard to pull off, but Thomas Monckton, who played the pianist, didn't lose our attention once; keeping the audience constantly engaged with new and exciting, if occasionally predictable obstacles to overcome. Having said that, on more than one occasion I found myself gasping - unsure of whether the thing that just went wrong was supposed to happen, although that was just testament to how gullible I am. The characterisation of the pianist was spot on, clumsy and awkward, but constantly aiming to be suave and sometimes, even if accidentally, achieving it.

The set was simple and incredibly effective, with the dust sheet covered piano, a chandelier and at the back a mock dressing room complete with powder and wine for his opening scene. The lighting and music were spot on, complementing the acting perfectly.

The show was fun and easy to watch. It was by no means made solely for kids, as with the very best shows it had enough humour that would go over their heads to keep adults entertained too. While there was nothing particularly emotive about the show it was a heartwarming kind of comedy that left me with a warm glow and a smile on my face even after the show was over.

* * * * *


The Pianist is on at the Assembly Roxy at 12:25 until 29 August (exc. 10, 15, and 22 August). For tickets and more information, visit the Fringe website.

Author

Ellen Orange

Ellen Orange Voice Reporter

I am a 24 year old Marketing Officer from the North East with a passion for arts and writing. I did a BA in English Literature and an MA in Twentieth and Twenty First Century Literature at Durham University, because I love books and reading! I have experience in writing for a variety of student publications, as well as having contributed to Living North, a regional magazine and Culture magazine, a supplement to regional newspaper, The Journal. I have been part of a Young Journalists scheme writing for NewcastleGateshead's Juice Festival, a young people's arts and culture festival, and have since become a Team Juice member. As well as reading and writing, I love theatre, photography and crafts.

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