Here you can listen to audience members giving their vox pop feedback after my show Moments of Weightlessness and read some written comments about the show and my 2016 album We’re Inside and Outside.
NEWCASTLE: Here’s the lovely Newcastle crowd (apologies for the naff pic but I do get genuinely excited when I drive over the Tyne Bridge!) – ah, those Geordie twangs, really wish I had one! Listen out for my godfather being comical and then some lovely chats with old friends at the end. Also, in addition to what I say here: although the show did totally spring from an amazing two-day creative splurge in a space, I had a fantastic creative team that helped me develop, shape and polish it!!! Dramaturg: Lou Cope; Script Editor: Becca Ellson; Movement Director: Janine Fletcher; Lighting Designer: Chris Umney; Sound Designer: Simon Hendry; Lighting on the tour: Andy Furneaux.
Here’s some lovely reviews people have emailed me since the shows up North (thank you for being such great audiences!):
1. NEWCASTLE: A brilliant, witty and joyful performance with a superb professional pianist performing a contemporary dance with a piano. The way the playing of the altered grand piano was juxtaposed with looking after a baby was a sheer intellectual, charming and heart-warming delight, combining the tradition of Victor Borge, the troubadour, and the wit of a court jester. It will soon hit the West End, surely!
2. NEWCASTLE: Sarah invites her audience to enter her personal space and that of her piano, from “inside out”. From this privileged standpoint we are treated to a playful, energetic exploration of both herself and her amazing bespoke piano, literally stretched to their limits. She experiments with her own and her piano’s physical and musical potential from all angles, drawing parallels with the joys and challenges of her love for her children, and we experience this instrument as never before. A joyous performance!
3. NEWCASTLE: I absolutely loved the performance on Friday – parts of it were very moving, others were very funny. The piano is a real work of art, I particularly loved seeing it swing like a pendulum! What a treat – I hope the tour is the huge success it deserves to be.
4. NEWCASTLE: I very much enjoyed the concert on Friday. I thought it was highly innovative and original. Also very personal – I felt Sarah was very brave to share her private life so openly. Thoroughly entertaining and well presented. How talented she is! I see one problem… small children announcing that they want to learn the piano will say “No, not this one. One like Sarah’s!”
BIRMINGHAM: I must say, it’s been really nice going to different places in the UK and hearing accents!! My mum studied at the Barber Institute – amazing how things go around (not just pianos, either…). Have a listen to this lovely, enthusiastic crowd:
YORK: Very pleased with the last comment here, thanks for your thoughtfulness, it means a lot. And thanks Celia Frisby for carrying the ZOOM around!
1. YORK: Last Saturday evening in the Jack Lyons Concert Hall at York University, Sarah Nicolls gave a magical performance as she revealed the secrets of her ‘inside out piano’. Not only is this amazing instrument her ‘brain child’ of many years of experiment and development, she related the experience as a parallel to giving birth to her own first child Stanley, the subsequent trauma after the birth and the joyful euphoria when all was well. / Sarah is not only a brilliant pianist, composer and inventor but a wonderful communicator who captivated her audience with her own sense of humour and wit. She deserves global recognition for her work in this field. I felt privileged to be present at her show.
2. YORK father of two: thank you so much for the concert and workshop at York last weekend. It seems that you manage to expose people to prepared piano music without them being aware of listening to prepared piano… and the sounds you/your piano made were really lovely. The concert was nothing like I might have presupposed. It was deeply touching, and… well, I don’t have the words, but it certainly provided plenty of joy to be kissed as it went flying by. Also, I feel, it reminded me of another birth-related poem; Wordsworth’s ‘Ode on Intimations of Immortality’, and the lines: Not in entire forgetfulness / And not in utter nakedness / But trailing clouds of glory do we come. Perhaps Stan can justifiably claim that your performance is one of the clouds of glory he brought with him into the world.
COLCHESTER: Here’s the more subdued but still, (I think!), positive Colchester crowd (sadly we lost several comments due to a technology malfunction). It was interesting, in that it was a much quieter audience but still lots of albums sold and lots of warmth at the end. Just goes to show, you never can tell!
READING: Well, I had an amazing reception in Reading at South Street Arts – listen to these really lovely comments, starting with the most wonderful one from a little girl, probably 7 years of age and later featuring her eloquent mum! Here are some of the written comments: “Giving birth to any creative thing is a massive achievement and your piece appeals on multiple sensory levels. I think this should be appreciated by the widest possible audience. Loved it and touched/affected by it. Profound.” (I think this might also be from the girl!): “I absolutely love your music it’s a wonderful piece! I have never heard such a huge amounts of effects in the piano. You are amazing! I enjoyed the play, it was brilliant. Good luck in the next show you do!” “So many thoughts, and questions – the key/tone for that first labour contraction…..woh!!!!” “So beautiful. You caught the repetitions and toil of raising children against the desire for art/self-expression (from another visual artist). ‘I am your son’ made me cry! You’ve inspired me to play the piano again!”
OXFORD: This is actually a post-event or post-listening event! I thought it might be helpful for anyone contemplating the show to read what other people thought and also so you can let me know what you thought directly! I’m also really interested to hear your thoughts on the album. It’s my first ever one, after all, and I’m really chuffed that the people of Oxford embraced my bespoke object with joy! 🙂 So, here are the first bits of feedback I got for the SHOW in Oxford:”Most ingenious and insightful journey into what can be the most vulnerable, innermost thoughts of preparing and ride into motherhood – a talent beyond belief” Angelene Logan-Overy”Thank you for a brilliant show. You poured your heart and talent into it and brought me to tears!””We absolutely loved your performance. It was very emotional – a complex exhibition of identity and environment on all sensuous levels (visual, acoustic, etc). And how both of them, identity and environment, influence each other and co-evolve. Thank you so much!” Murki”Most impressive piece of engineering” Andy BrittanAnd there were loads of lovely audio comments. Listen here to a few:
And a 5-star review!
Moments of Weightlessness – Review