I have to admit I was predisposed to dislike this show on the principle that anything Eamonn Holmes likes isn’t for me. But I also have to admit that I came out of it with a broad smile on my face, because Steven Worbey and Kevin Farrell are a contrapuntal pair of contrarians.

Serious musicologists who come on like Ant and Dec, Steinway artistes on a Bösendorfer, romantic composers alive to the minimalist musicality of the phone tone, their show is both a revenge on the cruel piano teachers who told them they’d never be more than pub pianists, and a cleverly sugared music lesson disguised in a Light Entertainment pill.

A clever overhead camera rig allows us to see their four hands working over and underneath each other in their arrangement of Widor’s Toccata from his Organ Symphony no.5, but they use the big screen sparingly, to best effect in their ‘live’ link to the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra for their ‘Fringe Concerto’, a shameless homage to Gershwin and Rachmaninov.

Camp, funny and clever, I wish them success beyond their dreams (not least so they can stop wearing those hideous shirts).
Words: Tim Maguire

Concerto without Orchestra, Assembly Rooms, Jul 31 – Aug 24 (not 11), 16:20


About The Author


Edinburgh Festivals Magazine has been in publication for 11 years and has a readership of over 250,000 across the UK. You can find us in all major retailers including Asda, M&S, WH Smith and Waterstones. In its online form, edfestmag.com acts as one of the major reviewing publications for all Edinburgh Festivals.

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