Home News Alistair McGowan combines comedy with classical piano music for new UK tour

Alistair McGowan combines comedy with classical piano music for new UK tour

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Audiences are invited to experience a unique evening celebrating his classical chart-topping debut album

Master impressionist Alistair McGowan is embarking on a brand new tour during Spring 2022 which combines his incredible comedy talents with his new-found passion for classical piano music. 

Alistair McGowan – The Piano Show opens on Thursday 31 March 2022 in Hexham, before heading to Barnard Castle, Alnwick, Cheltenham, Ivybridge, Taunton, Cardiff, Blackburn, Selby, Liverpool, Poole, Shanklin, Radlett, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Scarborough, Canterbury, Tetbury, and London’s prestigious Cadogan Hall. 

After 25 award-winning years in the world of comedy, Alistair McGowan began playing the piano in 2015. Within two years, he had released Alistair McGowan: The Piano Album through Sony Classical which topped the UK Classical album charts and reached No 2 in the Classic FM chart. The album featured 17 short piano pieces by composers including Satie, Chopin, Field, Grieg, Schuman, Liszt, and Glass. 

Since 2018, Alistair has been playing the piano publicly to great acclaim (despite the odd mistake!), and his move from comedy at the highest level into the world of classical piano is unparalleled. He thinks he is the first person to mix stand-up comedy with straight classical music in a live setting.

Without training as a musician, his ability to perform in public under pressure and then to slickly mix the music with his stand-up routines and endlessly changing roster of impressions of zeitgeist celebrities is truly impressive, sets him apart – and makes for a very entertaining evening which Alistair describes: “Two shows in one. It shouldn’t really work but, I’m repeatedly told, it does – thankfully. Audiences even seem to enjoy my mistakes, I don’t!”

Alistair studied piano for two years as a boy but gave it up in favour of football and tennis.

He began working as a stand-up comedian in 1989 and soon found work on radio and television as well as taking shows to the Edinburgh Festival including When Harry Met Ally with Harry Hill in 1991. His own television series eventually followed in 1999 and, over four years, The Big Impression became one of BBC One’s most highly-rated comedy programmes, winning a BAFTA in 2002.

He has also worked on television as an actor in programmes such as Mayo and Bleak House and in the film Driving Aphrodite with Richard Dreyfuss. On stage, he has twice played Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, twice played The Mikado, and was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance as the Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors in the West End, alongside Sheridan Smith. He has also written three biographical plays for Radio 4 about George Bernard Shaw and the composers, Erik Satie and John Field.

Alistair McGowan – The Piano Show demonstrates and showcases his love of all the art forms that have gripped him during his rich and varied career. And, in its two previous incarnations, he has introduced a new audience to short, classical piano pieces from composers including Cyril Scott, Yann Tiersen and Madeleine Dring, and has surprised classical music lovers by delivering – between the pieces – his impressions of Harry Kane, Raymond Blanc, and Roger Federer.

The 57-year-old says: Rediscovering the piano as an adult has been a great joy to me, and being able to share that joy with others is both a privilege and a huge pleasure – although I continue to be in total awe of trained pianists who can play far more intricate pieces than I could ever attempt.” 

“After having to reschedule the tour due to the pandemic, I’m very much looking forward to this new tour and if it encourages someone else to follow their own dream, whatever their age, then that’s even better.” 

Alistair has received plaudits from several classical musicians for the quality of his playing reminding us all that it is never too late to try to attempt what you love and what you and others may think is impossible. 

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY ABOUT ALISTAIR MCGOWAN

 

“Alistair McGowan’s impressions are faultless”

The Sunday Times

 

“He plays piano splendidly”

The Observer

 

“Alistair plays an impressive range of pieces with enviable touch and feeling”

Charles Owen, pianist

 

“Two shows for the price of one: laugh-out-loud comedy and some surprisingly sensitive piano playing”

James Lisney, pianist

 

“Inspired and inspiring!”

Anthony Hewitt, Concert pianist

 

LISTING INFORMATION

 

ALISTAIR MCGOWAN – PIANO SHOW TOUR SPRING 2022

 

QUEEN’S HALL ARTS CENTRE, HEXHAM

Thursday 31 March 2022 at 7.30pm

1-2 Beaumont Street, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 3LZ

Website:         www.queenshall.co.uk/content/queens-hall-arts-centre

Box Office:      01434 652477

 

THE WITHAM, BARNARD CASTLE

Friday 1 April 2022 at 7.30pm

3 Horse Market, Barnard Castle, DL12 8LY

Website:         thewitham.org.uk

Box Office:      01833 631107

 

ALNWICK PLAYHOUSE

Saturday 2 April 2022 at 7.30pm

Bondgate Without, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1PQ

Website:         www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk

Box Office:      01665 660550

 

PARABOLA ARTS CENTRE, CHELTENHAM (Part of Cheltenham Comedy Festival)

Wednesday 6 April 2022 at 8pm

Parabola Road, Cheltenham, GL50 3AA

Website:         cheltenhamcomedy.com/line-up/2022/Alistair-McGowan

Box Office:      01242 572573

 

WATERMARK THEATRE, IVYBRIDGE

Friday 8 April 2022 at 7.30pm

Erme Court, Leonards Road, Ivybridge, Devon, PL21 0SZ

Website:         www.ivybridgewatermark.co.uk

Box Office:      01752 892220

 

THE BREWHOUSE THEATRE & ARTS CENTRE, TAUNTON

Saturday 9 April 2022 at 7.30pm

Coal Orchard, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1JL

Website:         www.thebrewhouse.net

Box Office:      01823 823244

 

ACAPELA STUDIO, CARDIFF

Wednesday 13 April 2022 at 8pm

Heol Y Pentre, Pentyrch, Cardiff, CF15 9QD

Website:         www.acapela.co.uk

Box Office:      029 2089 0862

 

DARWEN LIBRARY THEATRE, BLACKBURN

Thursday 21 April 2022 at 7.30pm

Knott Street, Darwen, BBC3 3BU

Website:         bwdvenues.com

Box Office:      01254 706006

 

TOWN HALL, SELBY

Friday 22 April 2022 at 8pm

Selby Town Hall, York Street, Selby YO8 4AJ

Website:         www.selbytownhall.co.uk

Box Office:      01757 708449

 

LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC HALL, MUSIC ROOM

Friday 29 April 2022 at 7.30pm

Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BP

Website:         www.liverpoolphil.com

Box Office:      0151 709 3789

 

LIGHTHOUSE, POOLE

Thursday 5 May 2022 at 7.30pm

21 Kingland Road, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1UG

Website:         www.lighthousepoole.co.uk

Box Office:      01202 280000

 

SHANKLIN THEATRE, ISLE OF WIGHT

Saturday 7 May 2022 at 7.30pm

Prospect Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, PO37 6AJ

Website:         www.shanklintheatre.com

Box Office:      01983 868000

 

RADLETT CENTRE, RADLETT, HERTFORDSHIRE

Sunday 8 May 2022 at 7.30pm

1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL

Website:         www.radlettcentre.co.uk

Box Office:       01923 859291

 

NEW VIC THEATRE, NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME

Wednesday 11 May 2022 at 7.30pm

Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 0JG

Website:         www.newvictheatre.org.uk

Box Office:      01782 717962

 

STEPHEN JOSEPH THEATRE, SCARBOROUGH

Sunday 15 May 2022 at 7.30pm

Westborough, Scarborough, YO11 1JW

Website:         www.sjt.uk.com

Box Office:      01723 370541

 

CADOGAN HALL, LONDON

Tuesday 17 May 2022 at 7.30pm

5 Sloane Terrace, London, SW1X 9DQ

Website:         cadoganhall.com

Box Office:      020 7730 4500

 

THE GULBENKIAN, CANTERBURY

Wednesday 18 May 2022 at 8pm

University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NB

Website:         thegulbenkian.co.uk

Box Office:      01227 769075

 

TETBURY GOODS SHED ARTS CENTRE

Friday 10 June 2022 at 7.30pm

The Old Station Yard, Cirencester Road, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8EY

Website:         shed-arts.co.uk

Box Office:      01666 505496

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