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The Pianist at Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts

Media Release: For Immediate Release

The Central North Island Arts Consortium presents


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

Playhouse Theatre, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato
Friday 9th May: 7.30pm
Tickets $10 - $25, Family Group $40
available from Ticketek

"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 centred 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 goeswrong – hard and fast.

The Pianist is, simply put, a superb performance… he charms the spectators mere seconds into theshow, 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 in 2013, it was performed throughout the rest of Finland to sold out theatres before playing successfully at the Nelson and Tauranga Arts festivals in 2013.

The Pianist recently completed a sell-out season at Circa Theatre in Wellington and is now touring the North Island to New Plymouth, Hamilton and Tauranga before a final appearance at the Taupo Erupt! Festival. At Circa it attracted the following reviews:

“As I and others have said before, Thomas Monkton is world class. The Pianist could play anywhere in the world, in large or small venues, and bring pleasure to anyone with a pulse, be they arts festival aficionados, habitual theatre-goers or people off the street looking for a good time….The acrobatic skills he brings to his clowning elevate this show from the sublime to the extraordinary…Don't delay in booking your seats: The Pianist is a tour-de-catastrophe you don't want to miss.” John Smythe. Theatreview

“I doubt very much that you'll see, in fact I am prepared to bet on it, a funnier show this year than The Pianist. Not a word is spoken and there's precious little piano playing but The Pianist is continuous laughter for an hour from the moment this manic musician burrows his way through the curtains to get onto the stage.” Laurie Atkinson, Dominion Post

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