Will struggles to concentrate at school, his homework is a mess and he dreads the day his school reports arrive. One memorable day, he’s sent home with his report and a letter which clearly spells trouble. But to his astonishment, his school have chosen him to play the piano at a celebratory concert for Mozart’s birthday in Salzburg. He arrives, full of trepidation, to meet the other children who’ve been picked to play from around the world. They’ve been practicing in the weeks leading up to the concert for hours a day. Will, bored by the rigour of his piano lessons, has been focusing on inventing ever more impressive piano tricks. But the night before the concert, with the scale of the occasion suddenly stark in his mind, he sets off on an adventure to figure out a plan.

Technically, ‘First Piano on the Moon (Revisited)’  is a show for kids (6+ recommended though lots of younger children sat rapt in this audience) but if you have any love for music  – or ‘just’ love charming, inventively told stories, attend without a child with joyful abandon. Pickvance is clearly a marvellous pianist. He kicks off his show by demonstrating some of his tricks – playing the piano back to front, with a roll of duct tape, even upside down. His storytelling – sketching out his restless childhood – is funny, engaging and smart, accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Pianodrome creator Tim Vincent-Smith. He’s a really endearing performer. But the magic begins when he sets out to explore Mozart’s birthplace and gets rather more than he bargains for when he meets a mystery guest.

This is a story about a wee boy who finds himself a wee bit out of his depth. But it’s also a story about creativity, inspiration, and how brilliant ideas evolve and live on. The story gives Pickvance free rein to show off his spectacular musical range as his piano veers from Mozart to Chopin to Beethoven to Gershwin to boogie woogie, rock and roll, and rap. This is a total spoiler alert but while Ben Winger does a super job of playing all the important people in Will’s life, he comes into his own as Mozart, a mischievous twinkle jostling with a disconsolate petulance. His wistful recognition that the musical world has moved on tips the show from being a story for the kids into striking a chord with an eminently adult quest for meaning.

‘First Piano on the Moon (Revisited)’ runs until Sun 27 Aug 2023 at Summerhall TechCube 0 at 11:50