The Prickle (@ThePrickle) May 09, 2019
Comedian and impressionist Alistair McGowan (BBC 1 Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression, BBC Radio 4 Dead Ringers) has been a life-long lover of classical music, and was approached by Sony Classical to release an album of piano music in 2017. At this point, McGowan had only been actually playing the piano for two years.
So he’s a beginner? Yes. Does he make mistakes? Yes. Are the pieces easy? Yes. So why would we go and watch Alistair McGowan play the piano, when we could just as easily pop into the Royal College of Music over the road, and listen to any student play far more interesting repertoire and to a higher standard?
Firstly, because this isn’t just a concert. Alistair McGowan is a phenomenal comedian who exudes confidence, and spends at least half the two-and-a-half-hours talking to the audience, leading us on an extraordinary tour of his world-renowned impressions, and teaching us all about the composers behind the music, in a hilarious and highly accessible way. Stripped away is all of the pomp and nerves of a classical concert, and we’re just left with the man and the music.
Secondly, there is something really inspiring about McGowan’s feat. McGowan shows that even in your fifties, it’s still possible to learn the piano, and it’s still possible to share your love of music with the world.
Listen to Alistair McGowan’s The Piano Album on Sony Classical.