Anatomy of the Piano (3 stars)

This article is from 2013

Anatomy of the Piano

credit: James Paul Gomes

Tinkling the ivories with one obsessed piano-man

Summerhall’s Anatomy Lecture Theatre is an apt venue for Will Pickvance’s one-man show. Perhaps it was even written with it in mind, as the hour-long entertainment of part lecture, part recital, part taking a piano to bits has broad similarities with what the Victorian circular teaching space was designed for.

Pickvance is an incredibly versatile musician. In the form of a personal meandering narrative, his pianistic journey goes from wanting to be a spaceman – cue twinkling stars in the top register of the piano and dreamy, other worldly improvisation – to the implications of dating a piano with its chubby cheeks and prominent teeth. It’s a lot of fun, but always underpinned by a serious talent that just keeps on playing the notes, whether in the style of Beethoven, Brahms or Victoria Wood.

Witty drawings in accompaniment are projected onto the lecture theatre’s whiteboard, illustrating Pickvance’s various ponderings on the piano. For instance, what happens when an upright and a grand piano get together to mate? They produce a baby grand, of course. And there’s even a chance for some gentle audience participation, by joining in with Will in his signature tune, ‘Most Entertaining’. Sums it up really.

Summerhall, 0845 874 3001, until 25 June, 9.50pm, £10 (£6).

Will Pickvance: The Anatomy of the Piano

  • 3 stars

Pianist, composer and all-round entertaining guy Will Pickvance anatomises the piano for your listening pleasure.