Highbury burlesque performer fundraising to restore piano

Sapphira is fundraising to restore a piano. Picture: Lara Blake Photography

Sapphira is fundraising to restore a piano. Picture: Lara Blake Photography - Credit: Archant

A Highbury burlesque singer and dancer is hoping to raise £800 to restore an antique piano and its stool.

Sapphira is fundraising to restore a piano. Picture: Dora Leskinka

Sapphira is fundraising to restore a piano. Picture: Dora Leskinka - Credit: Archant

Priscilla Silcock, who uses the stage name Sapphira, has played the piano since the age of five and passed her grade eight at 16.

In recent times, she has used pianos outside Morrisons in Nag’s Head and in St Pancras International Station to practice.

READ MORE: ‘Sapphira’ and 300 other showgirls suit up for world record attempt in Sir Richard Branson’s nameShe has now settled into a bigger home with her husband and acquired a second-hand piano, but it is out of tune and needs to be restrung.

“I have raised 55 per cent of a £800 target already by selling my second-hand items and setting up a GoFundMe page and it would mean the world to me to have a piano to play now London is in its second lockdown, especially if I can dust off the keys in time for Christmas carols,” Sapphira said.

Sapphira is fundraising to restore a piano. Picture: Lara Blake Photography

Sapphira is fundraising to restore a piano. Picture: Lara Blake Photography - Credit: Archant

Items she has put up for sale include a polka dot fan from Barcelona, a sequin peacock dress and a ceramic vintage-style perfume bottle.


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“I have used my musical skills and profile to raise money for mental health awareness, fundraising for Sane, Butterfly Conservation and volunteering for St Mungo’s over the years and it would mean the world to me to be reunited with my first love, the pianoforte,” she added.

The Australian performer has lived in Islington for six years, and even featured in the Gazette earlier this year for leading a world record attempt to put on the biggest ever burlesque dance event.

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Following the attempt, she fulfilled a dream of meeting Sir Richard Branson.

Sapphira is fundraising to restore a piano. Picture: Lara Blake Photography

Sapphira is fundraising to restore a piano. Picture: Lara Blake Photography - Credit: Archant

Sapphira has lived around the world while setting up her business, Sapphira’s Showtime, including in Melbourne, Ibiza and Plymouth.

“The piano has been therapy for me in a way because I had a strict upbringing as a child and it was the one place I was completely free,” she told the Gazette.

“It makes me feel completely free and meditative, like swimmers when they get into the rhythm of their stroke.”

Steve Droy of Islington Pianos, who has worked with Norah Jones, Dido, Tim Minchin and Shirley Bassey, will help with the restoration if Sapphira’s fundraising is successful.

View the fundraiser here.

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