I offer two programmes that have grown out of my love of words and the way that poetry, biography and the description of an historical moment can illuminate music. Weaving in and out of ‘shows’ that are both theatre and concert, inspires both me and the many fine actors that I’ve worked with. I think we all love working alongside those with very similar aims but with different modes and skills of communicating those aims.

These two offerings feature the work of women who were at the very centre of their creative fields. 


Exotic, talented and the inspirer of devoted passion from both sexes, Violet Gordon Woodhouse (1872-1948) was one of the 20th century’s most gifted musicians. She became the English “Landowska” in her passionate and compelling desire to understand and bring back to light the particular beauty of the harpsichord. Her salon was a magnet to many of the most important artists of her age – Picasso, Diaghilev, Rodin, TE Lawrence, Bartok, Wilfred Owen and Vaughan Williams. A fear of convention and a searching nature led her to share her life with four very different men. In this programme, Violet’s story is told in narration and letters, offset by music played on the harpsichord by Bach, Scarlatti, Couperin, Mozart, Rameau and Purcell.

The Musical Worlds of Jane Austen and Colette for piano, soprano and actor

Jane Austen (1775-1817) and Colette (1873 -1954), two of the greatest stylists in their respective languages, were supremely gifted in describing the intricacies of love and in observing the world around them. Moreover, both were practising musicians – Jane Austen a keen domestic keyboard player and Colette a music hall singer/entertainer. This programme demonstrates just how central music was to their lives and art.

With music by Haydn, Cramer, Gluck, Storace, Ravel, Debussy, Poulenc and Lerner/Loewe

Recently performed by Katharine Dain, soprano and Nancy Crane, actor