Presented by Emma Knights Productions
Reviewed 6 June 2019
Emma Knights, of Emma Knights Productions, is well known across South Australia for producing award-winning productions, musically directing, accompanying or appearing in orchestra pits for numerous local companies. But this show, The Piano Men, strips away all of the sets, costumes and orchestra, leaving just Emma and a piano.
Emma’s infectious smile instantly connects you with her journey through the male-dominated history of piano music and the music industry.
She cleverly weaves her own life story with the history of piano music, carefully selecting pieces to highlight how under-represented women have been in the music industry (and still are).
Hours of research lie behind this show, allowing Emma to deliver shocking and interesting facts about how sexist the industry has been – from Classical Music days to the present.
The repertoire chosen through this performance showcases Emma’s ability to move from classical piano music through to modern day music. The rawness of Emma’s singing allows the audience to connect to the journey of her music career. At times, the keys of the songs pushed Emma’s vocal range (particularly at the lower end), but this ultimately worked to emphasise the underlying message of the show. Emma’s love for the piano and music radiates from her throughout this production.
One minor, niggling issue throughout the hour long performance was the sound balance. For such an intimate show and space, the sound was over amplified, and a little more mid-range in the mix would assist to bring out the warmth of Emma’s voice.
The Piano Men is a show full of charm and wit, heartache and just a touch of cheekiness. Emma should be commended for such a well-crafted performance.
Review by Ben Stefanoff
Rating out of 5: 4.5
Venue: Gluttony (Masonic Lodge)
Season: 6 – 8 June 2019
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $28 – $32