A spectacular combination of pianos and comedy.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Melbourne International Comedy Festival has been cancelled but Matthew Hadgraft and Ben Taylor, better known as Australia’s The Two Piano Men, know the best medicine to prescribe during these fearful times: a dose of laughter combined with a dose of music.
The duo will be pushing through with their zany madcap musical comedy, Twisted Ivories, at Prahran’s MC Showroom on Saturday March 28, offering up an hour of hilarity.
“We aren’t afraid of this COVID-19 hoopla,” Hadgraft laughs. “I mean Ben is younger and healthier than I am.”
Taylor agrees, “I should be fine, Matt is more of a concern.”
“I breathe through a Dettol wipe but we’re facing this dead-on,” Hadgraft jokes. “We’re lucky that we get the chance to do this because a lot of people have had a lot of free time on their hands thrust upon them at the moment.”
The comedic duo, who are known for their fast fingers and insured hands, will be kept busy for Twisted Ivories as they show off their phenomenal piano-playing skills across one, two or three pianos of all sizes, showcasing classical music with a comedic twist. Their musical repertoire features songs such as ‘The Minute Waltz’ where they challenge themselves to play in a minute flat as well as ‘Dueling Banjos’, ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’, ‘Chopsticks’ on ecstasy, ‘The William Tell Overture’ (The Lone Ranger) and ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.
“See Ben and I aren’t serious piano players,” Hadgraft starts. Taylor interjects, “Speak for yourself!”
“We do it seriously but there is so much more fun that can be had with pianos. A friend of mine says, ‘In the age of smartphones you can watch a cute badger at any moment of the day’, so she compares anything she does during the day to if it is better than a badger or not. So we can’t just sit there and expect for people to sit down and shut up and watch us play piano. We need to make it more fun than that,” Hadgraft explains.
“Right, we need to be better than the badger,” Taylor adds.
“Two Piano Men – better than the badger!”
The men will also re-enact the fight scene between the Sharks and the Jets from West Side Story with a classical musical mash-up that is beyond your wildest dreams, while exploring just how many songs the two can sing that only consist of four chords.
On top of the crazy music antics and manic skits, there will be an element of magic included.
“We’re going to saw someone in half,” exclaims Hadgraft. “Just joking! But there will be some sleight of hand because we have wiry hands so we employ them to good use. We just try to make it more magical to suit the pieces because some of the pieces are gloriously atmospheric to begin with.”
Not only will it be an all-round celebration of entertainment, it will also be a birthday celebration for Ben. You’re all invited to join the party.
Twisted Ivories comes to Prahran’s MC Showroom on Saturday March 28. Grab your tickets via Trybooking.