Play Me I’m Yours comes to City along with pop­u­lar Spiegel­tent

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Front Page - By Neill Barston [email protected]­m­group.co.uk @neill­barston

Bud­ding Billy Joels and wouldbe Alicia Key­ses will be in line for a ma­jor treat as an in­ter­na­tional mu­sic phe­nom­e­non forms a cen­tral part of this year’s Can­ter­bury Fes­ti­val.

Bri­tish artist Luke Jer­ram will be bring­ing his Play Me I’m Yours con­cept to the city’s streets in Oc­to­ber, in which 10 uniquely-placed pi­anos will go on dis­play for free public use.

The pro­ject has so far reached more than eight mil­lion peo­ple around the world – in­clud­ing in New York, Paris and 46 other cities – and has be­come a Youtube sen­sa­tion.

Since 2008, it has seen more than 1,300 pi­anos, which have been dec­o­rated by lo­cal arts groups, placed for open use in spots as wide-rang­ing as mar­kets, fer­ries, bus shel­ters and squares.

They will form a key fea­ture through­out Can­ter­bury Fes­ti­val, which re­turns be­tween Oc­to­ber 17 and 30, and of­fers a huge mix of mu­sic, theatre, com­edy and street en­ter­tain­ment across the city.

Or­gan­is­ers have also con- firmed that a three-year £162,500 match-funded Arts Coun­cil sum has been suc­cess­fully raised through on­go­ing char­ity ac­tiv­i­ties to en­sure the re­turn of the Spiegel­tent venue.

The highly-dis­tinc­tive tent, which is of clas­sic Dutch de­sign, has been used for a host of arts events around the world, and was first in­tro­duced to the Can- ter­bury fes­ti­val two years ago.

Thanks to the on­go­ing public do­na­tions, it has con­tin­ued to host a wealth of events at its tem­po­rary an­nual home at the St Lawrence cricket ground.

These have spanned cabaret, com­edy, dance and pup­petry, with the quirky venue be­ing widely-re­garded as one of the high­lights of the fes­ti­val pro­gramme.

Amanda McKean, Can­ter­bury Fes­ti­val de­vel­op­ment man­ager, said: “This is re­ally ex­cit­ing that we’ve man­aged to get Play Me I’m Yours to come to Can­ter­bury.

“As for the Spiegel­tent, it has been fan­tas­tic for the past two years and peo­ple have re­ally taken it to their hearts.

“It’s been op­er­at­ing at around 50% ca­pac­ity for many of the shows, so that needs to be im­proved.

“These kinds of tents were orig­i­nally from Hol­land and Ger­many and the par­tic­u­lar one that we are hav­ing, the Sa­lon Perdu, has been used all over the world, in­clud­ing an arts fes­ti­val in Aus­tralia.”

On July 19, there will be a fur­ther sum­mer pic­nic and con­cert fundraiser for the Can­ter­bury Fes­ti­val, fea­tur­ing the Orbi Big Band. Tick­ets are £15. Visit www. can­ter­buryfes­ti­val.co.uk

Above, The Play Me I’m Yours phe­nom­e­non comes to Can­ter­bury, hav­ing been around the world, in­clud­ing New York, above; and left, the Spiegel­tent cabaret is re­turn­ing to the city

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