Chopin’s Last Tour

Chopin’s Last Tour
Presented by Anvil Creek Theatre. Adelaide Fringe. The German Club, Adelaide. February 26 - March 5, 2016

Accomplished actor/pianist Phil Aughey delivers an impressive performance on two fronts with Chopin’s Last Tour – performing six of the great man’s most iconic compositions with impeccable precision, and in between, regaling the audience with impassioned dramatic monologues “in character” as Chopin himself.

The musical highlights include a strident treatment of “Etude No I2, Opus 10: Revolutionary” and a melancholy rendition of “Nocturne No 20 in C Sharp Minor”. The very familiar “Fantasie Impromptu”, probably Chopin’s most famous composition, also makes an appearance, albeit in an abbreviated form. Aughey’s performances of “Prelude In E Minor”, “Waltz In C Sharp Minor” and “Etude No 3, Opus 10: Tristesse” are more conventional, though no less technically impressive.

The dramatic component of the show, in which Aughey relates Chopin’s struggles with illness, difficulties in forming long term relationships, the mixed critical reaction to his work and the political turmoil of the times in which he lived contain a surprisingly balanced mix of pathos and dry humour. Though his Polish accent sometimes slips when Chopin is angry, this is a small nitpick in what is overall an intensely charismatic performance.

For fans of the composer, Chopin’s Last Tour is a must see event at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Benjamin Orchard

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