BAFTA-winning comedian, impressionist and Olivier-nominated actor Alistair McGowan is returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
BAFTA-winning comedian, impressionist and Olivier-nominated actor Alistair McGowan is returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a new show based on the life of the surreal and witty French composer Erik Satie.
But before he does so he will be previewing it at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts in Maidenhead on Tuesday and Wednesday (July 26 and 27).
Erik Satie’s Faction is set in 1916, with the composer at his lowest ebb, unable to leave his flat, haunted by his past, fearful for his future and tormented by the loss of his one and only love.
An extraordinary character renowned almost as much for his way of life as his music, Satie famously described himself as “a pretentious cretin whose music makes people laugh and shrug their shoulders”.
His eccentricities were plentiful, to say the least.
He wore the same outfit for 11 years to save himself time deciding what to wear — well before Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg thought of the idea.
For a period of time he ate only white food, including shredded bones and the fat of dead animals.
A pianist as well as a composer, he drew thousands of designs for fairytale castles while living in tiny, barren flats, alone — having sworn himself off love after one failed six-month affair.
He always carried an umbrella to keep off the sun as much as the rain. And he let no one into his flat for the last 27 years of his life.
Conceived as a tribute to the witty and surreal Satie, who was born 150 years ago and died in 1925 aged 59, this Beckettian piece is McGowan’s own assembly of Satie’s words and music.
He will be performing several of Satie’s well-known piano pieces, as well as some never-before-performed articles and poems.
Perhaps best known for his award-winning BBC series The Big Impression, McGowan has recently toured the UK with fellow stand-up comedian Jasper Carrott.
He will also be taking his stand-up show Twelfth Impressions to Edinburgh next month.
Tickets for Erik Satie’s Faction at Norden Farm are £15. The show starts at 7.30pm on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
To book, call the box office on 01628 788997 or visit www.nordenfarm.org