Taking the audience on a heart-warming journey through the life and career of award-winning music legend Jan Preston, Adventures in Pianoland will be presented at Canberra’s The Street Theatre for a limited season from 11 August 2016.
Celebrated as Australia’s Queen of the Boogie Piano, Jan spins yarns from dives in Soho to the concert halls of Europe, to stealing a piano in broad daylight from a bar in downtown Wellington, and comes clean on her longstanding and sometimes bumpy road to piano stardom.
This intimate engrossing combination of skilfully performed piano music, images, songs and stories, is masterfully directed by award-winning New Zealand film director Gaylene Preston (Perfect Strangers, Ruby & Rata, Mr Wrong) who also happens to be Jan’s sister.
Born in New Zealand into a family who all sang and played some instrument, even if it was only an eggbeater or tea chest bass, Jan was on the road to becoming a classical pianist. Fate stepped in and saw her sneaking in the back door of pop with groups like Coup D’Etat, achieving a number one hit with Doctor, I Like Your Medicine.
Moving to Sydney, she became a mother, then songwriter and composer for television (Australian Story), films (Home by Christmas), and hundreds of documentaries award winning filmmakers (The Hungry Tide, Tom Zubrycki) and silent movies (The Kid Stakes)..
From Chopsticks to Chopin to Winifred ‘Winnie’ Atwell, expect virtuosic playing as Jan candidly spills the beans on her extraordinary experiences as a longstanding performing musician whilst sharing insights, at turns whimsical and shrewd, into our music and culture of the last fifty years.
Jan also will include deeply personal original songs from her repertoire which she has rarely performed before and some new ones which will be given first airing and provide counterpoint to her life story.
“Jan Preston is surely Australia’s Queen of the Piano. She and the instrument come as a package and anyone who’s seen her perform live has witnessed a perfect partnership. Her playing is as flawless as it is loose and joyful.” – Rhythms Magazine Australia
Adventures in Pianoland
The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, Canberra City West
Season: 11 – 14 August 2016
Information and Bookings: www.thestreet.org.au
Image: Jan Preston