Find yourself in or around Northampton with no plans this weekend? Have we got a deal for you. The Royal & Derngate theatre features a couple of greats from the British acting and musical world tonight and Saturday. The great Patricia Routledge, steamrolling towards her 82nd birthday in February of this year, and international concert pianist Piers Lane collaborate for a night of words (compiled by her great-nephew, composer Nigel Hess) and music that tells the extraordinary story of Myra Hess. Her infamous wartime National Gallery lunchtime concerts (there were over 1600 of them) provided a much-needed cultural oasis for the thousands who remained in London during the war years as bombs continually fell all around them. Kind of a cool story.
If you’re not in the Northampton area this weekend, here’s a list of venues as Patricia Routledge and Piers Lane take the show on the road over the next several months.
An early review states: “…the words are taken from letters, books and interviews given by Dame Myra, interspersed with short piano pieces by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Beethoven and Bach. Not only does Patricia Routledge strongly resemble Hess, but her chemistry with pianist Piers Lane, developed over many years of friendship, makes their performance a delight.“
Just a thought. If not, good to know that, at almost 82, the woman that we’ve come to know over the years as either Hyacinth Bucket or Hetty Wainthropp is still going strong.