A BURTON-born pianist is looking forward to some home comforts when his classical piano-come-comedy double act lands in the area next weekend.
Worbey and Farrell Well Stung is lashings of satire, piano keys and sidesplitting laughter who have shot to worldwide acclaim.
One half of the duo, Steven Worbey, is now looking forward to some time back in the area he grew up in when they play in Derby next Friday.
After humble beginnings in Burton, Steven grew up in Horninglow and studied at de Ferrers before setting off on a musical odyssey which has now seen the duo play in more than 150 countries.
“De Ferrers was great for music, and I’m sure it is still is now,” he told the Mail.
“When I was a teenager in I was playing in local bars as a teenager before I then went to the Royal College for Music in London.
“I then moved into the snooty area of classical music it didn’t really suit me and I think that I’m quite a down to earth person.
“But I got together with my mate Kevin Farrell one night, got drunk and put the act together.
“We blagged a show at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and all of a sudden it gave us a years worth of work.
“Our shows are a bit like a classical piano recital but there none of the snobbish rubbish.
“Music and comedy are getting a bit more prestige now with people like Tim Minchin.”
The act’s fame has rocketed after critically acclaimed shows at the Edinburgh Fringe landed them rave reviews.
Their globetrotting exploits have seen them play in more than 150 countries including America, Canada and across Europe.
“The weirdest place we place went to play in was Papua New Guinea it took us six flights to get there,” he said.
“The people were so friendly but then we realised they had been chewing some strange berries off the trees. And we went just after they had outlawed cannibalism, though I think it was still happening out in the sticks.
“It was interesting because the next day we were playing at Berwick upon Tweed so there was quite a contrast.”
The pair have developed their own virtuoso and acrobatic style of performing, with them both manning the one piano. The mesmerising choreography of their hands is always projected onto a multi-media screen.
Steven gave a flavour of what people can expect from their performance at Derby Assembly Rooms.
“It’s a family show and it’s music-based so it is for anyone who loves music of any type — and for anyone who has not listened to classical music before.
“We have a lot of interaction with the audience and we just have a big laugh while at the same time celebrate some of the best music the piano has produced.
“When you get family and friends in the audience they do look at you in a different way so there is a bit more pressure.
“When there are people there you know, you just hope that they like it.
“I am looking forward to coming back to the area, it’s been a long time. I can’t wait to spend some time at home.”
Worbey and FarrellWell Strung hits the Darwin Suite at Derby Assembly Rooms next Friday starting at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £13 each, or £11 for concessions, and are available from www.derbylive.co.uk