James Rhodes - Soho Theatre 06 February 2018
Monday evenings are usually a fairly drab affair even more so in the dead of this never ending winter. But last night the spell of early week mundanity was broken by an outstanding performance by pianist James Rhodes at The Soho Theatre.
For those who’ve never ventured to The Soho Theatre its a snug little venue on Dean street with an underground theatre space that holds not more than about a hundred. The small stage was just large enough to accommodate a piano and Mr Rhodes’s formidable talent.
The show opened with James strolling onto the stage, greeting the audience with a casual wave and then he was straight on the keys. The acoustics in the room were perfect for the chosen pieces which centred around a theme of finding happiness. The first piece although quite heavy sounding was quite pivotal for James Rhodes. He reflected on this piece as a symbol of happiness and positivity that helped him through a darker time at a psychiatric ward.
The performance was thoroughly mesmerising. It was evident that here was an artist who was truly lost in the moment and whose traumatic past is addressed through the power of the music he plays so beautifully. Each piece was punctuated by short stand up moments where he talks candidly to the audience about the composers and the pieces he plays, painting a vivid picture of the world and situation in which the music was conceived.
The performance was moving, humorous and genuine. And really knocked the stuffiness out of classical concerts and replaced it with a more relaxed interchange between artist and audience. Unfortunately the show is sold out for the rest of the week but if you get a chance to see James Rhodes play, snap it up. You won’t be disappointed.