Tickled pink by internet bargain

Ian Coley, director of the Doncaster Amateur Operatic society, with the pink piano. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D4079MB
Ian Coley, director of the Doncaster Amateur Operatic society, with the pink piano. Picture: Malcolm Billingham D4079MB
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A THRIFTY music buff certainly hit the right note when he picked up a full-size piano - for just 87 pence!

For theatre director Ian Coley struck a real chord by snapping up the bargain musical instrument which will now take a starring role in his latest production.

And Ian, who snapped up the piano for just £1 on internet auction site Ebay, found even more money tinkling inside its workings.

He said: “When I got it home, there was 13p in change under the keys so it was an even better bargain!”

Ian, musical director of Doncaster Amateur Operatic Society, was on the lookout for a cheap piano to feature in the group’s forthcoming production of Hot Mikado at the Civic Theatre.

Brand new pianos proved too expensive and so Ian switched on his computer and began scouring the web for cheap pianos.

And the 46-year-old of Reeves Way, Armthorpe, struck it lucky when he found one for sale in Bentley - priced at just 99p.

He said: “The piano had a minimum bid of 99p but I put a maximum bid of £10 in.

“I thought I’d decide whether to go any further if the bidding got up to £10.

“I gave the owner a pound and said keep the change and then when I got home I found 13p in loose change. So really it only cost me 87p!”

The piano has been painted bright pink for the performance and also had all its parts removed as Ian doesn’t need it for music.

Frances Lister, a member of the operatic society and the group’s publicity officer, said: “We’re not sure exactly how the piano is going to feature in the performance yet.

“It’s being left as a surprise for us. Ian wants it to be a surprise for the cast.”

The Doncaster Amateur Operatic Society was established in 1909 and first performed in 1910 at the Grand Theatre. Its first production was the Gilbert and Sullivan opera ‘The Mikado’.

The operatic society is marking its 101st anniversary by performing the updated version Hot Mikado.

The songs have been updated to include jazz, swing blues, and rock and roll style numbers.

The show will be staged at the Civic Theatre, from March 2, to March 5, from 7.15pm. For tickets contact the Civic Theatre on 01302 342 349.