Velvet Determination

Theatre (music, solo show)

  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Cynthia grew up playing classical piano in a Colorado town, but she was determined to achieve the keys to success by attending a prestigious New York City music school. In this autobiographical solo show, Cynthia shares tuneful tales of battling inner demons and nutty neighbours, hitting wrong notes, enduring hard knocks and meeting unique characters who inspire, help and sometimes hinder her journey to Carnegie Hall, all illustrated by virtuoso live piano performance. Best Festival Debut, NYC's Theatre Row United Solo Festival. Best Solo Show, Pittsburgh Fringe. 'The biggest sell is Shaw's beautiful playing and whimsical storytelling' (

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Information not supplied
  • Wheelchair access type: Permanent Ramp, Level Access, Lift (Building Lift)

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Ashley Ford 33 days ago

Absolutely beautiful performance! Such a dazzling performer who brought so much joy to the stage. I was thoroughly absorbed every minute, completely enraptured by both her piano playing and storytelling. Cynthia Shaw has an inspiring and positive message to share with the world. If you have ever dared to dream of the impossible... but need a bit more encouragement - this IS the show for you! Don't wait. Go! Before it leaves Edinburgh to return to New York City.

Jeff Ahern 35 days ago

Wow! Such a great show. Let me start by saying Cynthia is an amazing pianist. Playing difficult pieces with and effortless flow. But that is really only half the show. She takes the audience on an amazing journey about her life that is both vulnerable and poignant. Can't recommend it enough!

Hilary and Michael 37 days ago

Cynthia took us on a whistle stop tour through her musical career. From first to last she was entertaining, humorous and genuine. Her musical interludes were beautiful. This was a show that will stay with us. Thank you Cynthia

Pauline Clancy 40 days ago

What a wonderful show. Such a talented pianist it was a delight to listen to Cynthia playing. She also told her story which was full of highs and lows and very thought provoking. Cynthia creates a very intimate, friendly and engaging atmosphere.
This should be on everyone’s list of shows to see.
Thanks Cynthia, my friend and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Carla 42 days ago

Such a sweet and wholesome performance. Cynthia's lovely piano repertoire complements her endearing storytelling and invites the audience to journey with her. Would fully recommend catching this performance if you're able!

Arielle Lehmann 43 days ago

A Personal story, beautifully told and played, about a girl from a little town arriving to the big city facing internal demons as well as external barriers and overcoming both. Pianist Cynthia Shaw is honest and relatable. Her courage and passion for music touch the heart and create a performance that will stay with you.

Roger Peltzman 45 days ago

This show is absolutely charming. Cynthia's descriptions of growing up in the middle of nowhere and her experiences in New York after moving there are both touching and humorous. Her portrayals as her young self as a student at the music conservatory are truly lovely. As a pianist I can attest to her really first rate playing. I recommend this show highly!

CINDY D'ANDREA 45 days ago

Got to see Cynthia's show yesterday and I loved it! I met Cynthia only via Zoom and couldn't wait to meet her in person and see her show. What was immediately special was that she greeted us at the door, was so lovely and gracious and then treated us to her delicious combination of brilliantly played piano music accompanied with her stories of growing up in Pueblo, CO and hitting it big in NYC. I loved that she taught us (or attempted to) teach us certain rhythms and beats and choral notes by using our own appendages. I felt like I was sitting right there with a master teacher at the piano. How Cynthia weaves her stories into her soulful, soothing, mesmerizing playing is unique and heartwarming. It made me want to start taking piano lessons again. Cynthia is truly a gifted musician and storyteller. Brava!

Andrew Andela 45 days ago

Yesterday I went to see Velvet Determination by Cynthia Shaw and her show deserves every set of eyes it can get. All us performers owe it to ourselves to see it.

Cynthia is a natural and comedic performer who tells her surprisingly relatable life story which will connect with everyone who watches. Her talent on the piano is mesmerizing and blends so well with every line of her story. Congrats Cynthia

Callum Duggie 45 days ago

Attended her show, and it was brilliant. Her story telling, accompanied with her beautiful piano playing, made a captivating show. I loved it.

Jennifer Roxburgh 47 days ago

Talk a walk down Cynthia’s musical memory lane. A charming and poignant insight to her life and interspersed with beautiful piano playing. Often moving, always interesting.
Definitely see it. * * * * *

Carol Lesley-Green 47 days ago

Cynthia is a wonderful story teller and a very accomplished pianist. She shares many stories about her life journey, how she became a classical pianist and how she built her self-confidence and learned to overcome her personal demons in order to realise her passion and potential.

Ciara 48 days ago

Wow. What a beautiful show. I feel honoured to have heard the life story of Cynthia and it moved me to tears! So beautiful and everyone should see it! 5 stars! *****

Michele Eaton 48 days ago

Cynthia, thank you for a wonderful evening. The making of a performer is frequently such a fraught journey, and you tell your story eloquently and candidly. I was moved to tears more than once. Looking forward to seeing and hearing more of your work!

Stef Rummel 48 days ago

Cynthia Shaw, a brilliant pianist, tells her story about her life as a pianist through music and autobiographic stories. It is an excellent show.

David Catt 49 days ago

A very well presented and amusing autobiography Illustrated with skillfully played music. Deserves a bigger audience

Marjorie Ellis 50 days ago

A great show !I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Not only is Cynthia a very talented musician, she is also a talented actor and playwright with an endearing story to tell. Go see this show.

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The Scotsman (3/5 stars) 30 days ago

Her story is as melodic as the music she plays

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FringeBiscuit (4/5 stars) 33 days ago

Warm & wholehearted

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The Wee Review (3/5 stars) 33 days ago

this is a fun, informative and interesting fifty minute window into an incredibly talented artist’s development as a performer – with live piano music on the side: a wee Fringe treat.

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North West End UK (5/5 stars) 40 days ago

I left feeling uplifted, inspired and with the strong urge to play some piano.

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North West End Theatre (5/5 stars) 41 days ago

I cannot fault this production. I left feeling uplifted, inspired and with the strong urge to play some piano. This show deserves a big audience!

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The Reviews Hub (4/5 stars) 43 days ago

dazzling and formidable

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Fringe Review 49 days ago

The light-hearted hour is thoroughly enjoyable and passes quickly, as Shaw handily weaves the story and musical excerpts into an engaging program. She is charming and relatable.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.