Chopin's Last Tour

Phil Aughey

Anvil Creek Theatre

ZOO

From 07 August 2015 to 31 August 2015

Rating: **

Review by Graeme Strachan

Set during the late days of his life, Chopin's Last Tour offers up the promise of an insight into the mind of the introvert composer as he ponders the meaning of his life, interspersed with relevant pieces of his music.

It's a noble idea and one that has no shortage of ambition, as Philip Aughey throws his emotions and a considerable skill at the piano into the production. As Chopin touches on the joys and tragedies in his life, he takes moments aside to play pieces from his repertoire as if deciding on choices for an upcoming recital.

The problem with this production is that, despite the ambition, the execution of the show leaves something to be desired. Aughey's embodiment of Chopin includes putting on an impressive Polish accent so believable that it creates the unfortunate effect of serving to highlight the moments of paucity and occasion fluffed lines in the performance. It was as if it were a piece performed in a second language.

This would have been acceptable had the performance been less flat and had the piano playing not included more than a few wrong notes. The end result is a good idea, which feels like it is severely under-rehersed and in dire need of a little more shine.