Katzenjammer are Bitter & Sweet

Katzenjammer don’t fit into a Fringe category all that easily. Is it comedy, music or theatre? Maybe it’s all three. Regardless of the categorisation, the show is one of those surprising gems that the Fringe gives us an opportunity to see. And I recommend you do, and you won’t be embarrassed if you took your mum with your either.

Steven Worbey and Kevin Farrell are obviously both highly accomplished pianists in their own right, having both trained at the Royal College of Music. As Katzenjammer they play as a duo on the same piano whilst the audience can watch the blur of four hands on a live big-screen projection of the keyboard. But this isn’t some stiff recital. In between each of the clever musical numbers, Steven & Kevin make the whole audience feel like they’re a bunch of friends who’ve come round for a G&T.

It’s easy to draw comparisons with the likes of Victor Borge, but in some ways this belittles their own talent. The arrangements of Maple Leaf Rag and Windmills of Your Mind are as technically challenging as they are technically brilliant. There is humour in the form of original songs much in the vein of Tom Lehrer, a camp but obscure Gracie Fields number and an incredibly clever classical / contemporary piece. Actually, one of the highlights is rhapsodic Spice Girls, but don’t let me spoil the plot.

If you don’t catch them at the Fringe, don’t be surprised if these boys are playing the Royal Albert Hall soon. They really are that good.

Reviews by Sue Denham

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

With four hands on one piano, the unique talent, comic wit and pianistic skills of Katzenjammer will ensure a fast-paced evening of madness, music and laughter. You'll have never seen a piano played like this before!

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