The Pianist

Original Concept & script by Mikhail Rudy
Director Rachel McDonald
Translated by Anthea Bell

  • Venue Upstairs Theatre
  • Dates 16 Jan — 27 Jan 2009

    The Pianist was Presented by Company B and Sydney Festival and is based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman.

    In September 1939, concert pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman was midway through a performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in D Flat Major for Polish Radio when the Nazis pulled the power. Six years later, after an infernal odyssey of survival during which he saved his sanity by playing silently on a tabletop every day, Szpilman returned to Polish Radio and completed his recital. The Pianist is his memoir of those six years.

    Half a century down the track another great concert pianist, the internationally acclaimed Mikhail Rudy, read Szpilman’s memoir and dreamt up a sublime retelling of the story. Part concert, part play, The Pianist is a duet for two Szpilmans: Rudy on piano and a solo actor recounting the story.

    Rudy had been performing the work around the world. Then he came to Belvoir St for a special production with Company B.


    Original Concept and script by Mikhail Rudy
    Translated by Anthea Bell
    Director Rachel McDonald
    Text Edited by Mikhail Rudy and Neil Bartlett
    Music by Frédéric Chopin and Wladyslaw Szpilman
    Design Consultant Jo Briscoe
    Lighting Designer Stephen Hawker
    Stage Manager David Koumans


    Mikhail Rudy
    Sean Taylor

    Production images by Heidrun Lohr


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