Fringe Review: The Piano Men

Emma Knights poses the question: ‘Why is it that when we think of the piano it is always men that are at the forefront?’ She then attempts to answer by exploring the history of female composers/pianists through out the ages to modern times and,more importantly, how this question has influenced her life and career choice.

By
Classy, classical and charming
Overall
4.5

Reviewed at Ukaria on 15 February 2019

Presented by Emma Knights Productions

Local musician and entrepreneur, Emma Knights has brought her Edinburgh Fringe show back to Adelaide and are we glad she did!

The Piano Men is a beautifully classy show; from the Grand piano, through Knights’ tailored look, down to her exquisite playing.

Knights poses the question: ‘Why is it that when we think of the piano it is always men that are at the forefront?’ She then attempts to answer by exploring the history of female composers/pianists through out the ages to modern times and,more importantly, how this question has influenced her life and career choice.

This may all sound a bit dry, but believe me, it is not. There is some nice humour and warmth, both from the material and Emma herself, injected throughout and helped by the guiding hand of Director Adrian Barnes. Knights has researched the show well and it is apparent every step of the way. It is also endearing and brave how she shows us glimpses of the private Emma Knights.

There are 29 musical numbers (not all played in their entirety), mostly written and normally performed by men, but females pop up occasionally: Fanny Mendelssohn (sister to Felix), Winifred Atwell, Britney Spears (a snatch of Hit Me Baby One More Time played classically is a lot better than the original), Alicia Keys, Adelaide’s own Pat Wilson and even Emma herself with her own composition, the aptly toungue-in-cheek Pianist Envy.

This is a very informative, pleasant and charming way to spend an hour – but hurry there is only one performance that isn’t sold out (see below).

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey

Venue: Ballroom at Urrbrae House

Season: 7 March 2019 10.15am

Duration: 60mins

Tickets: $20 – $25

Disclaimer: Both Pat Wilson and Adrian Barnes are reviewers for Glam Adelaide

 

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