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Sat, 13 Jul



Mrs Pepys’ Musical Revenge

A light-hearted evening of marital banter, shining a light onto the long suffering Mrs Pepys and giving a vignette of Seventeenth Century London alongside harpsichord solos, songs & the Gresham Consort of Viols (more info below) Joanna David & Laurence Cummings Bar/ door opens 5pm Performance 6pm

Mrs Pepys’ Musical Revenge
Mrs Pepys’ Musical Revenge

Time & Location

13 Jul 2024, 17:00 – 21:00

Mayfield, Melford House, Fir Toll Rd, Mayfield TN20 6NB, UK


About the Event

Mrs Pepy's Revenge

Sussex's very own Consort of Viols compliments this light hearted evening of entertainment including reknowned actor Joanna David  along with Laurence Cummings on Harpsichord and as Tenor

Gresham Consort of Viols (see bottom of section for more informatoin about a Consort of Viols!):

  • Marion Pilbeam
  • Maurice Rogers
  • Judy Tarling
  • Helen Williams

Laurence Cummings is one of Britain's most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance both as a conductor and a harpsichord player. He is currently Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, Musical Director of the London Handel Festival and Music Director of Orquestra Barroca Casa da Música in Porto. He was Artistic Director of the Internationale Händel-Festpiele Göttingen from 2011 - 2021. A noted authority on Handel, the Guardian has written of him “he now ranks as one of the composer’s best advocates in the world. Self-effacing on the podium, faithful above all to the score, he matches Handel’s energy and invention with unmistakable lyricism, generosity and dignity.”

Frequently praised for his stylish and compelling performances in the opera house, his career has taken him across Europe where he has conducted productions at houses including Opernhaus Zurich (Belshazzar, King Arthur), Theater an der Wien (Saul), Gothenburg Opera (Orfeo ed Euridice, Giulio Cesare, Alcina and Idomeneo). Théâtre du Châtelet (Saul) and Opera de Lyon (Messiah). In the UK he has been a regular at English National Opera (Radamisto, L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Semele, Messiah, Orfeo and The Indian Queen), Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Saul, Giulio Cesare and The Fairy Queen) and Garsington Opera (Vivaldi cycle: L’Incoronazione di Dario, L’Olympiade and La Verita in Cimento, Orfeo), as well as conducting at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre (Berenice and Alceste), Opera North (L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Orfeo in a version for both western and Indian classical musicians), and for Opera GlassWorks (The Rake’s Progress).

Equally at home on the concert platform, he is regularly invited to conduct both period and modern instrument orchestras worldwide, including Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, Handel and Haydn Society Boston, Croatian Baroque Orchestra, La Scintilla Zurich, Juilliard415, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Musikcollegium Winterthur, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Basel Chamber Orchestra, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Washington National Symphony Orchestra, St Louis Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony and in the UK with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Hallé Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Ulster Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

His recordings include discs with Emma Kirkby and Royal Academy of Music on BIS, Angelika Kirschlager and the Basel Chamber Orchestra for Sony BMG, Maurice Steger and The English Concert for Harmonia Mundi and Ruby Hughes and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on Chandos, as well as a series of live opera and concert performances recorded at the Göttingen International Handel Festival and released on Accent. He has also released numerous solo harpsichord recital and chamber music recordings for Naxos.

As well as his regular commitments his future plans include productions for Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Theater Basel, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and at Dutch National Opera.

He was an organ scholar at Christ Church Oxford where he graduated with first class honours. Until 2012 he was Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music which led to both baroque and classical orchestras forming part of the established curriculum. He is now the William Crotch Professor of Historical Performance.

Joanna David

Born in Lancaster and the matriarch of an acting dynasty, Joanna trained at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. A stalwart of the London stage, both on and off West End, some of her best known roles include The Family Reunion at the Vaudeville Theatre, Breaking the Code and The Cherry Orchard  at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Hobson's Choice at the Regent's Park Theatre. She has also appeared in numerous regional theatre productions, including The Innocents, The Heiress and The Deep Blue Sea for Northampton Royal Theatre; The Rivals, Dear Antoine and The Stepmother at Chichester Festival Theatre; and The Family Reunion, The Importance of Being Earnest and Uncle Vanya for the Manchester Royal Exchange.

Joanna's breakthrough television role was as Jane Austen's protagonist Elinor Dashwood in the BBC's dramatization of Sense and Sensibility, followed by the BBC production of War and Peace in which she played Sonya. She played the girl in Rebecca for BBC TV and the role of Aunt Gardiner in Pride and Prejudice in the 1995 BBC TV production. Also, Joanna played the Duchess of Yeovil in the hugely popular Downton Abbey and the long lost love of John Thaw's Inspector Morse. Recent television roles include HBO's The House of the Dragon and Dawn French's show Delicious. Her film appearances have included roles in Rogue Trader, These Foolish Things and The Cleansing Hour.

Joanna recently returned to the stage at the National Theatre in Absolute Hell and in Alys Always at the Bridge Theatre. Alongside her work as an actress, Joanna is an experienced broadcaster and featured in BBC Radio 4's Home Front and a recording of the biography of King George V. She also appears alongside Lucy Parham, concert pianist, in programmes Beloved Clara and Liszt and his Women.

What is a Consort of Viols?

The viola da gamba (also called the "viol" or "gamba") looks very similar to a fretted cello, but whilst a cello has 4 strings a viol usually has 6, like a guitar, or 7. In addition, the viol's frets aren't permanently set, like those of a guitar, but are instead made of gut tied onto the neck, like those of a lute, and are therefore movable. Viols are bowed, like cellos, but the bow is held differently-not overhand, as is a violin or cello bow, but underhand, like a pencil or chopsticks.

Viols are also tuned differently than are cellos. Cellos (and violins and violas) are tuned in fifths. Viols are tuned in fourths, with a third between the third and fourth strings, just like a lute and almost like a guitar. Chords can easily be played on the viol with the bow and are often included in solo music.  Like the cello, the bass viola da gamba is part of a family. The smallest, highest-sounding member is a treble viol, equivalent to the violin. Next larger and deeper in tone is the tenor viol, approximately equivalent to the viola. Even larger and deeper-sounding is the bass viol, equivalent to the cello. The largest, deepest size, the double bass, is the only viol played in orchestras today.    Viols have a long history. They were perhaps most popular in the 15th to 18th centuries, from about the time of Henry VIII of England, who played them, to that of Louis XIV of France (the Sun King). Shakespeare mentions them in several plays, including Twelfth Night.

The sound of the viol is sweet and shimmering, quieter than that of violins, violas, or cellos. Viols smaller than double basses are, in fact, too quiet to be effective in large orchestras or big concert halls, which is why they are no longer very common. But many people today love the particular timbre of viols and the Renaissance and Baroque music written for them.  

The instrumental ensembles of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries were called in England ‘consorts’, a misspelling of ‘concert’ which, like ‘concerto’, probably comes from the Latin verb consererewith its past participle consertus, meaning ‘to combine together’.


  • Mrs Pepy's Musical Revenge

    Sale ends: 07 Jul, 21:00

    Laurence Cummings (Harpsichord & Tenor) pairs with Actor Joanna David Complimented by Sussex's very own Consort of Viols.




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