This musical and theatrical collaboration between multi-award-winning actress Dame Patricia Routledge and international concert pianist Piers Lane tells the extraordinary, inspiring story of Myra Hess and her famous wartime National Gallery concerts.
Compiled from her press and radio interviews during World War II by Myra’s great-nephew, composer Nigel Hess, ‘Admission: One Shilling’ is Myra in her own words: redoubtable, courageous and inspiring. This acclaimed show has toured for almost a decade yet these 17 November performances at Bishopsgate Institute will mark the first occasion that the pieces are played on Dame Myra Hess’s very own Steinway & Sons piano.
Through spoken word performance taken from letters, books and interviews given by Myra, interspersed with short piano pieces by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Beethoven and JS Bach, hear, how the ‘great adventure’ of these lunchtime concerts began, and how they continued while bombs rained down on London.
It will be a powerful and poignant experience, for both Piers and myself, to be telling the story, through words and music, of Dame Myra Hess’s unique and inspired contribution to the nation, during the anxious years of the Second World War. That our performance is to take place at the Bishopsgate Institute in the company of one of the instruments Dame Myra Hess actually played will, I am sure, make for a significant experience for all of us.
– Dame Patricia Routledge
I am delighted that ‘Admission: One Shilling’, a piece about my great-aunt Dame Myra Hess is being performed at Bishopsgate Institute. These performances will be particularly special as Piers Lane will be playing on the piano given to Myra by Steinway which has been at the Institute for several years and has recently been extensively refurbished in Steinway’s Hamburg workshop. To hear Myra’s own piano telling her own story in this way will be an unique experience, both for her family and, I am sure, for the audience as well
– Nigel Hess
Admission: One Shilling
Sat 17 November | 14.00 & 19.00
Price: £21, no concessions
Address: Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, London. EC2M 4QH
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Photo: ©Gussie Welch