Preview: Pianomime, Anatomy Lecture Theatre

Will Pickvance. Pic: Comp
Will Pickvance. Pic: Comp
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PIANIST Will Pickvance would like to take issue with the state of pantomime. Which is why, next week, at Summerhall you’ll find him presenting his ‘dastardly one-man manifesto addressing the original and best Christmas entertainment, pantomime.’

Pickvance asks, “In a country where three million people still attend a panto each year, how can we sit idly by as the most precious of British pastimes become a graveyard for television careers?”

Working with animator Tim Vincent-Smith, the one-man show, entitled Pianomime, features a host of animated characters - all the animation created using pieces of an old piano (specifically, a piano rescued from a flat fire of veteran Fringe performer, Woodstock Taylor).

The hour-long show, which takes place in Summerhalls’s Anatomy Lecture Theatre, may not feature Libby from Neighbours or Candy from TOWIE, but it does feature more ‘it’s behind yous’ and ‘oh no it isn’ts’ than you could stuff in a stocking.

One-time panto director Pickvance is fascinated by the affection held for the panto, but isn’t so much a fan of how the panto villain is now the panto’s cast list, hijacked by box-ticking celebrities.

In this new musical show Will presents his plan for lifting the art form out of the doldrums. With a cast of piano parts, featuring the dame, the camp children’s entertainer and a stock baddie, he will bring the new piano-panto hybrid, Pianomime, to life.

Vincent-Smith, who shares a little of the working process, says, “I first started working with Will as a violin player. It was immediately apparent that as a duet we gravitated towards pantomime farce, so much so that it became impossible to get any sensible work done.”

Pianomime, Monday- until 22 December, Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Summerhall, 8pm, 0845-874 3001