A new mixed-genre production interweaving the words of the great Russian writer Anton Chekhov with music by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and more, plus original compositions by David le Page, inspired by ‘The Seagull’
There are many parallels between the works of Anton Chekhov and the music of his compatriots. Chekhov’s writing is filled with allusions to music, especially the piano, and some of the plays have piano interludes. Shostakovich noted that Chekhov’s short stories were written in sonata form. Chekhov corresponded with Tchaikovsky whom he revered and his friend Rachmaninoff played the piano in Chekhov’s summer home The White Dacha at Yalta.
‘Chekhov’s Grand Piano’ interweaves music for violin and piano with readings from the ‘The Seagull’, ‘Ivanov’, ‘The Cherry Orchard’ and ‘The Three Sisters’ selected and read by actress Susan Porrett
Complemented by artwork and visuals from Klára Smith.
“Exceptional… musical maturity and extraordinary sonority” (Le Monde)
Viv McLean won First Prize at the 2002 Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona and has performed in all the major venues in the UK, as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. He has performed concertos with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and the Halle Orchestra. As a keen chamber musician he has collaborated with many groups including the Leopold String Trio and the Sacconi String Quartet as well as artists such as Natalie Clein, Daniel Hope, Guy Johnston and Lawrence Power. Viv has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3 as well as for radio in Germany, France, Australia, Norway and Poland.
David le Page
“his unique sense of creativity infuses everything he does” – The Independent
Guernsey-born David Le Page is a successful composer and virtuoso of the violin who has worked with a diverse selection of artists and ensembles. He is the Artistic Director of Harborough Concerts and has worked with a diverse selection of artists and ensembles as a director, soloist and chamber musician, including the Kreutzer Quartet; Billy Jenkins; Thomas Ades; Chroma; Paul Zukovsky; Keith Tippett; Errolyn Wallen; Guy Johnson; Julius Drake; Abdullah Ibrahim; John Tavener; Sir Michael Tippett; Phillip Sheppard; Lucy Bailey; the Medici Quartet; Charles Owen; the Gogmagogs; and the St Petersburg Quartet as well as the Adderbury Ensemble. David has also formed his own groups: the Le Page Ensemble, Camera Obscura, Subway Piranhas, The Harborough Collective and Mysterious Barricades.
The RSC, Royal Court and National Theatre actress
Susan’s last stage appearance was at Shakespeare’s Globe in John Dove’s production of The Heresy of Love in summer 2015. Before that she worked for the acclaimed theatre and opera director Richard Jones in Brecht’s The Good Soul of Szechuan at the Young Vic. Apart from a theatrical career including seasons with the RSC and the National Theatre she has a long list of TV and film credits including Upstairs, Downstairs, Poirot, Foyle’s War, Absolute Hell (with Judi Dench) and Alan Bennett’s A Private Function. At Christmas 2014 she was seen as Withers in the BBC’s major TV series Mapp and Lucia.
- Full Length: 95 minutes plus interval
- Minimal set with chair for narrator
- No mics needed
- Optional screen & projector for projected images
- Tuned grand piano