Life Stories

Radius R.I.P.

 

Tuesday 21 & Wednesday 22 Jul, 2015

The Place, 17 Duke’s Road, London WC1H 9PY

 

 

Genesis

LIFE STORIES: Rest in Peace is based on Chekhov’s short story Life in Questions and Exclamations, unusually told entirely through brief utterances, adapted and translated by Tim Benjamin. Sung in English.

 

LIFE STORIES: Silent Jack is an original short story and libretto by Anthony Peter and Tim Benjamin that loosely draws on the scant known history of highwaywoman and notorious Wicked Lady Lady Katherine Ferrers.

 

A libretto and complete programme featuring essays, imagery and further background information is available in print and digital form at: http://radiusmusic.org/giftshop.

 

LIFE STORIES: Rest in Peace

 

Moscow, 2024. An old man — homeless, sick — wakes and rummages through his meagre possessions, casting out objects that remind him of years gone by.

 

Nappy packaging: His childhood, an extended family.

 

A cane: An overbearing father, an ineffectual mother.

 

Paper bag, dirty mag: As a teenager, the discovery of girls.

 

Vodka, sherry, beer and champagne: the discovery of booze’s power to numb.

 

Money becomes a problem.

 

Health becomes a problem.

 

Playing cards: gambling becomes a problem.

 

He loses at cards, he loses his wife, he loses his child, heloses his dignity, he loses his self-­‐control.

 

An old watch: he runs out of time.

 

 

There is no interval. Instead, experience time travel, accompanied by J.S. Bach…


LIFE STORIES: Silent Jack

 

An English estate, 1724. A young woman stumbles, exhausted, into a secret cellar, the faded trappings of past glory decaying all around. Through a haze of pain, self-­‐pity and bitterness born of shattered hopes, she relives her life.

 

The past. Amy lives an easy, comfortable life in a well-­‐staffed house. Her father returns from war in France and she meets and falls in love with his dashing comrade, Sir James, whom war has made wealthy.

 

Amy marries James and life is truly blissful. For her 21st birthday, James presents Amy with a brooch of silver and gold, set with a pearl.

 

A distant company’s apparently successful business in trading government debt sets off a stock market surge and Sir James tries his hand at investing. The consequences for them both are dire– the crash leaves them financially ruined.

 

James leaves Amy for one of their servants. Amy, destitute, seizes the initiative and begins a career in highway robbery. She swiftly gains a reputation as the fearsome ‘Silent Jack’, who never speaks, but with a gun, a nod and a bag, relieves victims of the valuables they carry.

 

The present. Silent Jack has returned from the highway – a final foray, a shocking discovery and calamity

 

 

“Strong performances – thrilling – considerable theatrical flair” (The Guardian)

“Shining with energy – vibrant atmosphere – beautifully composed” (A Younger Theatre)

“Refreshing – fluent and well-crafted” (Opera)

“Exquisite – an undoubtedly talented ensemble” (The Upcoming)

radiusmusic.org

Music: Tim Benjamin


Words (Rest in Piece): Anton Chekhov, translated and adapted by Tim Benjamin


Music Director: Antony Brannick


Director: Tim Benjamin


Movement Coach: Bethan Rhys Wiliam


Set & Costume Designer: Amy Westwood


Costume Maker: Alexandra Ware


Lighting Designer: Tom Sutcliffe


Stage Manager: Verity Sturdy


 


Producer: Jenny Sheldon


Company Mentor: Anthony Peter


 


Music Director: Antony Brannick


Ezdeyev (Rest in Peace): James Fisher


Amy Beddoes (Silent Jack): Taylor Wilson


Flutes: Lynda Robertson


Percussion: Chris Brannick


Fortepiano: Simon Passmore


Violin: Charlotte Dowding


Cello: Alistair Howes


 


Radius was founded in 2006, specialising in contemporary classical chamber music. With a reputation for outstanding musicianship and innovative ideas, the high standard of their performances have been critically acclaimed in national and musical press. Since their debut at London’s Wigmore Hall, they have appeared at numerous venues, at festivals and on tour, and have given the first performance of many new works. Today, Radius specialises in the production of contemporary opera and music-­‐theatre, having given the world première of no fewer than nine such works. www.radiusmusic.org


 


Tim Benjamin is best known as a composer of opera, including the critically acclaimed Madame X (2014) and Emily (2013), along with music for film, TV and concert hall. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Radius. www.timbenjamin.com


 


James Fisher (bass) studied at UCL and the RNCM, funded by D’Oyly Carte and John Connell awards, and was a member of ENO’s OperaWorks. Engagements include Schwarz (The Hallé, Sir Mark Elder), Pistol (Iford), Seneca (Rydale), Sarastro (Opera Venture Tour) and Antinoo, Bottom, Kromov and Barabashkin (RNCM). Plans include: Basilio (Mananan).


 


Taylor Wilson (mezzo-­‐soprano) has studied voice, opera studies and modern languages. She manages a busy career on both international operatic and concert platforms and is also a champion of new music (often written specifically for her voice). Taylor has featured on several albums, film soundtracks and acted in short films.