Musical show in a venue made entirely from pianos

A new musical theatre show is to premiere at the Fringe – in the world’s first amphitheatre built entirely out of pianos.

I Piano is a new music theatre show for kids (ages 4+) that freely interweaves drama with virtuoso piano playing, and spell-binding shadow puppetry with audience interaction. It premieres in a China-UK joint production from 7-11 August at the Pianodrome, at 125-137 Pitt Street, Edinburgh.

The piano has lost its music, but a little girl wants to help the piano find it again. Together they set off on a magical adventure …

In this one-of-a-kind venue, the piano and the little girl set off on their quest, searching from the North Pole to the bottom of the sea. They meet dancing dinos and monks on scooters, and explore everything from Beethoven to boogie-woogie, but will they find music? If music is in all of us, they will need all our help.

Creator Adrian Hornsby has previously written an opera with Ai Weiwei, award-winning books on architecture and social impact, and won a Fringe ThreeWeeks award with Will Pickvance for Pianologues (2017). This is his first family show. It was commissioned by the A.S.K. in Shanghai, and is produced in collaboration with Edinburgh and London-based artists.

Adrian said:, ‘Pianos are much more than just instruments, and play so many different roles in people’s lives and living rooms — from knick-knack stands to objects of obsession. But what is the secret life of the piano itself? I wanted to imagine what might happen if one snuck out to play, and the Pianodrome is the perfect place because it explodes all our ideas about what a piano can be.

‘We had an amazing opportunity to develop I Piano in China, where there is a terrific appetite for piano shows (and more kids learning piano than there are teacups in Scotland). But the essential piano question is the same all over the world: where in this big wooden box of buttons and strings do you find the love, and the music that flows from that?’

Pianist and performer Dominic Harlan is renowned for his ability to engage kids with music (‘deserves a medal’ – The Times), while Teele Uustani, who plays the little girl, has an uncanny power to make pieces of paper come to life (past work includes The Paper Cinema). Co-director Rachel Warr is a puppetry guru whose work has toured the world, won both theatre and television awards, and is ‘brimming with simple brilliance’ – Total Theatre.

Dates: 7-11 August, 3pm (50 mins)

Venue: Pianodrome at the Pitt (venue 391), 125-137 Pitt Street, Edinburgh, EH6 4DE

Tickets: £12/10 (or what you can)