'I play Bach on the banjo - it sounds great' : Richard Durrant gets ready to wow Kingston at Rose Theatre gig (From This Is Local London)
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'I play Bach on the banjo - it sounds great' : Richard Durrant gets ready to wow Kingston at Rose Theatre gig
Richard Durrant is playing cricket with his family when the Surrey Comet calls.
“How are we doing in the Ashes?”, he asks. “I’ve not had the TV on all day.”
Durrant, a married father of four, is enjoying the last few days of normal family life before his schedule suddenly becomes a lot busier.
Next week he starts a UK tour before heading off to Paraguay in November for a series of gigs, and then back for another tour, this time in support of his new Christmas album, Christmas Guitars.
He plays the Rose Theatre on Sunday, October 6 - and is looking forward to coming back to Kingston.
“The Rose is a great place actually,” he says. “I played there with the Royal Phil [Royal Philharmonic Orchestra] in about 2010 I think.
“I had no idea what the Rose was going to be like. To walk out and see people sitting on cushions – it’s a great, relaxing place to be.”
The relaxed, cushioned atmosphere of the Rose probably suits Durrant, who is known for his more informal approach to classical music.
“I hate the word “classical”,” he says. “I prefer to be called a concert guitarist – but there are classical pieces I play and it’s quite common to hear somebody play that music without communicating with the audience.
“I want people who’ve paid for the ticket to feel valued, and one of the ways of doing that is to talk about the music you love and why you’re playing it.”
Between songs, Durrant is known to be a warm and funny compere – although it is likely many would pay just to see the musicianship on its own.
A formidably gifted multi-instrumentalist, Durrant effortlessly reworks well known classical suites, movements and television theme tunes into a dazzling lightshow with projections and electronic samples.
“I play Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells on the ukulele, using a laptop to sample each bit,” says Durrant humbly.
“I also use a projection of the Apollo moon landings which are fantastically beautiful and works well.
“I play some Bach on the tenor banjo – you might laugh, but it’s tuned the same as the cello and sounds great.”
Richard Durrant, Rose Theatre, High Street, Kingston
Sunday October 6, 7.30pm
Tickets £12 - £15
Call 08444 821 556 or visit the Rose Theatre website