Neil Brand is taking his show The Silent Pianist Speaks – first shown at the Edinburgh Festival – to London. He is appearing for two nights at the Pleasance Theatre, Islington, 22-23 December. What better way to welcome in Christmas. Here’s the press release:
“ASSISTED BY THE TRILLING WIT AND POLISH OF BRAND’S LIGHTNING-FINGERED ACCOMPANIMENT, THE SHEER FINESSE OF EACH SUCCESSIVE SLAPSTICK SELECTION WORKS ITS MAGIC ON THE AUDIENCE AND THE LAUGHTER FLOWS MORE AND MORE FREELY” Telegraph 2007
Fresh from co-starring with Paul Merton in the UK tour of Paul Merton’s Silent Clowns, Neil Brand, one of the world’s foremost silent movie accompanists is proud to present his own critically acclaimed show at The Pleasance Theatre, London for two nights only. The Silent Pianist Speaks is one of most unique and memorable shows you will see. It left both audiences and critics at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe in far from silent awe of the great filmmakers of the Silent Era and the magic of the accompanists who breathed life and sound into their work.
Neil uses clips from some of the greatest moments in silent cinema to illustrate his 25 year career and the special place of music with silent film.
“A RICHLY DIVERTING HOUR OF ENTERTAINMENT – BRAND SHOULD BREAK HIS SILENCE MORE OFTEN” Metro 2007
From the earliest, earthiest comedies and thrillers, through a silent cine-verité classic shot by a young Billy Wilder, which the audience gets to score, to the glories of Hollywood glamour and the sublime Laurel and Hardy, Neil provides improv accompaniment and laconic commentary on everything from deep focus to his own live cinema disasters.
The show culminates in a performance of a film he hasn’t seen, talking through the scoring process as he plays and struggles to make some sense of the film.
“BRAND’S IMPROVISED PIANO PLAYING ELEVATES SILENT MOVIES FROM CRUDE SLAPSTICK TO SUBTLE BALLET” Guardian 2007
Having trained originally as an actor, Neil has been accompanying silent films for over 25 years performing regularly at the NFT on London’s south bank and film festivals and special events throughout the UK and the world. He is considered one of the finest exponents of improvised silent film accompaniment in the world.
He has written the title music and scores for many TV documentaries including Paul Merton’s Silent Clowns, Silent Britain and Great Britons and scores for over 50 Radio 4 dramas including War and Peace, The Box of Delights, several of the BBC audio Shakespeare Collection plays and Sony award winner A Town Like Alice. Neil is also highly regarded as a writer of radio plays including the Sony-nominated Stan, which he adapted last year to great acclaim for BBC4 TV.
He has appeared with Paul Merton across the UK in Paul’s show, Paul Merton’s Silent Clowns and also across the UK and US with his first show, Where Does the Music Come From? This year he has appeared at Finland’s ‘Midnight Sun’ Festival, Padua Opera House and Kilkenny Comedy Festival.
More details and online booking from the Pleasance website.