Alistair McGowan – The Piano Show 

Lighthouse, Pool                                     Piano lessons Sydney playing.

Alistair McGowan (above) has been busy during lockdown, to the obvious delight of a theatre well filled with old fans

He’s always enjoyed the piano, but his repertoire was once small – at one stage only two pieces. But working several hours a day at the keyboard for nine months has changed all that.

So we now get 15 piano pieces by a striking range of composers from Philip Glass to Chopin, and Shostakovich to Handel, with particular attention being paid to French impressionists such as Debussy, and English followers like Cyril Scott, with much love lavished on the half-crazy but hugely talented Erik Satie.

All this was fascinating, but what particularly got to me was the way the audience drank it in.

The piano pieces were listened to with rapt attention, far greater than I usually witness at the Proms, and the applause at the end was warm, not merely polite. Perhaps Alistair can become classical music’s secret weapon.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and if you can catch up with this tour, which has plenty of places to get to, you certainly should.

Alistair started playing the piano at 49. Less than a decade later he has become accomplished. Not only does he choose interesting music to play, but technically he addresses it all with real skill.

For him at least, the lockdowns weren’t an entirely bad thing.

Once again I thought to myself, how could I have wasted so much time during lockdown when someone like him used the time profitably, to do things he might never otherwise have done?