Despite the painstaking attention to detail that must have gone into preparing this piece of clowning genius, The Pianist is a disarmingly simple show. An hour of wordless physical comedy, the sheer enjoyment shared by both young and old audience members clearly demonstrates the universal appeal of mime. With so much in the Fringe tailored exclusively to either adults or children, it’s great to have a show that appeals equally to both.
A man tries to play his piano but is thwarted by all manner of slapstick interventions. It’s quite amazing how much Thomas Monckton manages to mine from this basic premise and how much joy we have watching him.
Monckton is a wonderful clown with incredible skills in physical comedy. The routines have been meticulously planned, with every action perfectly synchronised to the sound and lighting in the show.
There is an intimacy to this kind of performance that’s in danger of being lost in the expansive Panama Club, so patrons would be well advised to sit as close to the stage as possible.
The Pianist is a charming show for the whole family that showcases the unique talents of Monkton, who is a joy to watch. Performances continue nightly at 6pm in the Royal Croquet Club until 5th March (with the exception of Mondays).
Reviewed by Matthew Trainor