The Show

In this extraordinary hour-long musical and theatrical collaboration, award-winning actress Patricia Routledge and international concert pianist Piers Lane tell the extraordinary story of Myra Hess and her famous wartime National Gallery concerts. In Dame Myra’s own words — compiled by her great-nephew, composer Nigel Hess — and with piano music by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Schumann and Chopin, we hear how the ‘great adventure’ of these 1,600 lunchtime concerts began, and how it continued while bombs rained down on London.

This uplifting story about the healing power of music is directed by Christopher Luscombe.

Admission: One Shilling was first performed by Patricia Routledge and Piers Lane as part of the annual Dame Myra Hess day at London’s National Gallery. Myra never wrote her autobiography, and her letters and other articles are particularly sparse during those war years, all her time being taken up by playing, practicing, and organizing her lunchtime concerts.

The script for this performance has, therefore, been compiled from Myra’s press and radio interviews during that time, as well as a few BBC broadcasts where she said a few words before playing. This is Myra in her own words: redoubtable, courageous, inspiring, and always with a twinkle in the eye. I am very proud to call her my great-aunt!  - Nigel Hess