A digital performance in partnership with the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and St Michael and All Angels Church, Berwick.
In celebration of 90 years since the publication of Virginia Woolf’s most poetic work ‘The Waves’, join us from St Michael and All Angels Church in Berwick for a specially created performance combining music, words and art.
This special event weaves extracts from ‘The Waves’ and Virginia Woolf’s letters and diaries together with music by Beethoven, Bach and Schubert which is known to have inspired Woolf’s writing. The performance features acclaimed pianist Joanna MacGregor alongside a string quartet from Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and readings by award-winning actor Harriet Walter and actor-writer Vera Chok.
Berwick Church is best-known for its extensive 20th century paintings by artists Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and her son Quentin Bell. The murals reflect on the grief for the death of Vanessa’s other son, Julian. In dialogue with the intimate space, this moving performance creates a meditation on the power of human connection, the pain of those lost and the transcendent joy and comfort of friendship.
Vera Chok, Actor
Vera Chok is a Malaysian actor-writer. Stage credits include ‘The Hard Problem’, ‘World of Extreme Happiness’ (National Theatre); ‘Harlequinade’, ‘The Winter’s Tale’ (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, Garrick Theatre), and ‘The Outsider’ (The Print Room). She was in the original cast for ‘Chimerica’ and appeared in the television adaptation. Chok co-wrote ‘The Good Immigrant’, a collection of personal essays exploring what it is like to be an immigrant of colour in the UK today.
Harriet Walter, Actor
Harriet Walter is an award-winning British actress. She has worked extensively in theatre, film television and radio. Her television credits include Sky Atlantic’s ‘The End’, ‘Belgravia’, ‘Killing Eve’, ‘Succession’, ‘The Spanish Princess’ and ‘The Crown’. Films include ‘The Last Duel’ (upcoming), ‘Herself’, ‘Rocketman’, ‘The Sense of an Ending’, ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘Atonement’. On stage Walter is best known for her Shakespearean work. She played Brutus, Henry IV and Prospero in the all-female trilogy for the Donmar Warehouse. Harriet Walter is also a writer and has published four books.
Peter Adams, Cello
Peter Adams is a cellist who has held principal positions in some of the UK’s top orchestras including the London String Orchestra and London City Ballet, English String Orchestra, Brighton Philharmonic, City of Oxford Orchestra and Oxford Philharmonic. He was professor of viola da gamba and baroque cello at the Royal Academy of Music. He was a founding member of the Rogeri Piano Trio and was a member of the Bochmann String Quartet.
Joanna MacGregor, Piano and composer
Joanna MacGregor is one of the world’s most innovative musicians, and has performed in over eighty countries. As a solo pianist she has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras, with such eminent conductors as Pierre Boulez, Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Simon Rattle and Michael Tilson Thomas. MacGregor has premiered many landmark works, from Harrison Birtwistle and Django Bates to John Adams and James MacMillan. She is Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music and has been the Artistic Director Bath International Festival and Deloitte Ignite at the Royal Opera House.
Ruth Rogers, Violin
Described as ‘the finest of the younger generation of violinists’ (Musical Opinion), Ruth Rogers is in demand as soloist, leader, and chamber musician. As a soloist, she has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the Acropolis in Athens and the Pyramids in Cairo. Rogers is leader of the London Mozart Players and regularly leads many other major orchestras. She is a founding member of the Aquinas Piano Trio. She also appears at the BBC Proms with the John Wilson Orchestra.
Nicky Sweeney, Violin
Nicky Sweeney is a violinist who teaches violin at Brighton College and is the assistant leader of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, working with Jörg Widman and Thomas Zehetmair. She also freelances with other chamber orchestras as well as recording for films and TV. She plays in the Lueventus Quartet with Ruth Rogers.
Jon Thorne, Viola
In addition to his work with the Badke Quartet, Jon Thorne has played with many of the major orchestras in the UK and currently holds the position of principal viola with the Oxford Philomusica. He has also been guest principal with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. He is a viola and chamber music professor at the Royal Academy of Music. He recently appeared as a soloist in the Puccini Requiem and Malpiero De Profundis with the Vassari Singers, released by Naxos.
We’ve partnered up with City Books in Brighton so you can buy a copy of ‘The Waves’ by Virginia Woolf.
Please note, that you will need to buy your event ticket separately to buying the book. By clicking the affiliated links below you will be taken to bookshop.org and will be supporting both a local independent bookshop and Charleston.
You will be emailed a ticket with a viewing link and password immediately after purchasing your ticket.
The event premieres online on Friday 9 April at 7pm, and is available on demand until midnight on Sunday 16 May.
The Charleston Festival Edit is an online festival celebrating creativity and ideas. Join us for the last weekend of lockdown for three special events also including Doing the Numbers: A Feminist Economics and James Ivory: A Life with Forster. If you would like to attend all three events, you can book an All Events ticket and save £5.
For further information take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions
Artwork by Molly Russon