Fringe performer Will Pickvance returns with piano-meets-panto show PianoMime
Pickvance hopes to reclaim panto from Z-listers and bad pop
Will Pickvance’s Fringe show Anatomy of the Piano matched musical virtuosity with wry humour, as he deconstructed – both metaphorically and literally – his chosen instrument. Returning to Summerhall – a venue that is suited to his intelligent, subversive style – Pickvance is inventing a new genre: the PianoMime.
‘There is definitely some sort of continuity from my last show,’ Pickvance admits. ‘Piano, one man, screen, fictional wisdom. The screen will be more argumentative in this one.’ But whereas Anatomy rolled along on Pickvance’s talent and ponderings, here he has added a seasonal touch. Feeling that Z-listers and bad pop have ruined pantomime’s reputation, Pickvance aims to redeem it.
‘I am ambivalent about pantomimes,’ he says. ‘I have directed the music for shows and encountered the Z-listers personally, and there’s a poignancy to these guys and the need to keep the show going on. And there’s the classic on-stage/off-stage juxtaposition.’
Nevertheless, he finds an echo in them of his own work. ‘I enjoy the anarchy in music making and improvising, and the farce of pantomime doesn’t seem that far away,’ he concludes. ‘I do hope to mess with format of pantomime itself, with a nod to a very durable form.’
Summerhall, Mon 16–Sun 22 Dec.