Fringe review: Belly of a Drunken Piano

Belly of a Drunken Piano ****

It’s a decade since the great Tom Waits made a triumphant rare visit to Edinburgh on his impromptu Glitter and Doom tour. Cue heavy sighs from anyone lucky enough to have been in attendance at those Playhouse gigs.

And yes, while we can only hope the booze-soaked bard of the barstool will grace us with his presence again one day, fans could do worse than a night in the company of Stewart D’Arrietta, whose latest Fringe show, Belly of a Drunken Piano, serves up imaginative arrangements of much-loved songs from some of the finest songwriters of the age – Waits included.

D’Arrietta, whose previous Fringe show My Leonard Cohen went down a storm in 2016 and 2017, repeats the trick with his 2018 offering, which also features songs by Cohen, Tim Buckley, Ian Dury and others.

Belly of a Drunken Piano earned five star reviews across the board at this year’s Adelaide Fringe – and it’s not hard to know why.

Indeed, while this show would undoubtedly work better in a late-night slot as opposed to its 6.15pm start, Sydney-born D’Arrietta is a compelling performer who, along with his superb band, takes the audience on a whisky-soaked journey where the audience encounter all manner of late-night bar dwellers and ne’er-do-wellers.

It’s riveting stuff – and not to be missed.

Belly of a Drunken Piano, Assembly Rooms, until 26 Aug, www.edfringe.com

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