‘Play Me’ piano creates the right buzz

From Chopsticks to Chopin – Saturday shoppers in Sheringham put down their bags, flexed their fingers and enjoyed a few minutes' music-making courtesy of a 'Play Me' piano placed under the town's clock tower.

Intrigued passers-by aged six to 80 took turns at having a bash on the instrument, painted to look like a green lizard by children from the town's Open Door Art group.

The piano was part of a 'Pre-Festival Buzz' event aimed at letting people know that the first-ever Cromer and Sheringham Arts Festival (COAST) gets underway this weekend.

Budding Beeston Hall School pianists Alec Steele and Alice Lindsell, both 12, encouraged others by playing their own pieces and a duet, and in total about 20 young people, including Open Door members wearing self-painted versions of Old Masters over their heads, handed out festival leaflets to shoppers.

'People were stopping to see what was going on and to have a go on the piano. We aimed to raise awareness about the festival – and we did,' said 'buzz' organiser Rosie Glasgow.

At one point about a dozen members of band Jefferson's Mandolins, who are performing during the festival, had descended on the piano en masse and given it a raucous hammering, she added.

The piano is one of three playing their part in the festival's Unusual Art in Unusual Places exhibition. There is another in Sheringham's Lobster pub courtyard and a third in the lobby of Cromer's Tourist Information Centre.

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COAST will run from October 23-31 with events for all ages including art exhibitions, drawing, crafts, a Halloween trail, drama, storytelling, photography, poetry, films, talks, workshops, heritage events, concerts, and a town-criers' contest.

For more information visit www.casaf.co.uk