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The Pianist: Acrobat vs Grand Piano

Photo: Heli Sorjonen

Media Release: For Immediate Release


SHOW PONY and Circo Aereo present


Directed by Thomas Monckton & Sanna Silvenoinen. Performed by Thomas Monckton. Sound design by Tuomas Norvio. Lighting design by Juho Rahijärvi. Costume design by Kati Mantere

Circa Theatre, Wellington

22 April – 3 May 2014

"He would hold his own with the greats. Think Chaplin, Keaton and Marceau." Gail Tresidder, Theatreview (Nelson)

The Pianist is an exciting new collaboration by New Zealander Thomas Monckton and the Finnish company, Circo Aereo. This hilarious work is centered on, in, under, and around one of the most magnificent of all musical instruments, the grand piano.

Engaging and energetic, Monckton plays the concert pianist whose recital is an absolute catastrophe right from the beginning. He is a man so focused on impressing everyone that before he realises it, his show has transformed from the highbrow concert he hoped for, into absolute bedlam.

Audiences, from the youngest to the oldest, shriek as delightful accidents and mishaps follow each other in rapid succession. As the lovable acrobat takes on the grand piano, everything that can go wrong goes wrong – hard and fast.

“’The Pianist’ is, simply put, a superb performance… he charms the spectators mere seconds into the show, and bombs them with side-splitting comedy and moments of astonishment through all of the sixty minutes.” Demari (Finland)

Children and adults are taken deep into their imaginations and wonderment as the grand piano takes on a life of its own, surprising and delighting the whole way through. A simple set up for a traditional piano recital on stage is Monckton’s playground of comical chaos and unexpected turns.

Since its premiere in Hameenlinna, Finland last September, it has been performed throughout the rest of Finland to sold out theatres (some selling out weeks before the show is to be performed), largely due to glowing reviews and word of mouth. Show Pony, as the NZ producers, brought The Pianist to the Nelson and Tauranga Festivals and received more glowing reviews from audiences in Aotearoa:

“Award winning actor Tom Monckton delivers his new contemporary circus piece with such precision, energy and comic talent it’s almost not enough to just watch him; I sit leaning forward in my seat, trying to soak up more… Monckton’s use of his body - from a student of L'Ecole Internationale du Théâtre Jacques Lecoq – is exquisite and enviable for any performer.” Gin Mabey, Theatreview (Tauranga)

Some may remember Monckton from his last solo show Moving Stationery in Wellington in 2012. Moving Stationery blew audiences away, resulting in winning ‘Best Theatre’, and the coveted ‘Best of Fringe’ Award at the NZ Fringe Festival 2012, and ‘Best Male Performer’ at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards the same year. The Pianist is a fitting follow up, showcasing Monckton’s extraordinary circus techniques in a captivating and hilarious theatre piece.

Monckton and Show Pony are excited to bring the work to Circa for it’s Wellington premiere, before it moves on to a North Island tour presenting in New Plymouth, Hamilton, Hawke’s Bay and Taupo.

“This is something absolutely hilarious! Silent comedy and skillful circus tricks at their very best.” Tarja Kilpeläinen (Finland)

Circa Two
22 April to 3 May
Tuesday-Saturday 7:00pm
Saturday matinee 2:00pm
Sunday matinee 2:00pm
Ticket Prices
$35 adult
$28 students / beneficiaries / seniors / Friends of Circa / YHA + BBH
$20 under 25s and industry
$12 children
FAMILY pass: 2 adults and 2 kids = $80
Running time: approx 60 minutes (no interval)
Buy tickets through Circa Box Office
Phone 04 801 7992
For more information on The Pianist, visit or

© Scoop Media

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