Preview: “Never such innocence” narrative recital of words and music

Actor Christopher Kent and pianist Gamal Khamis bring NEVER SUCH INNOCENCE, their acclaimed narrative recital of words and music from the First World War, to the Festival of Chichester at The Oxmarket Gallery, St Andrew’s Court (off East Street) on Tuesday 3rd July at 7.30pm.

Video trailer:

NEVER SUCH INNOCENCE was first performed as part of the Somme100 commemorations in 2016 and has since been touring nationally, including a sell-out performance in London’s West End and a recent appearance on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, when Katie Derham described it as “incredibly moving”.

One hundred years after the devastating events of the First World War, and with Europe again facing a time of uncertainty, NEVER SUCH INNOCENCE looks back at the writing and music that emerged from the period, juxtaposing the words of writers such as Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon and Vera Brittain with piano music by composers including Elgar, Ravel, Debussy, Schoenberg, and Ivor Gurney.

In a moving and thought-provoking sequence, Christopher Kent and Gamal Khamis trace a narrative from the early innocence and nostalgia of pre-war life, through initial patriotic optimism, to the growing realisation of what was happening at the front and the deep sadness and loss that followed across Europe. Alongside this they tell the individual story of nineteen-year-old conscript Private Percy O’Key through his real-life letters and diaries.

It is a compelling journey from innocence to loss, told with unflinching clarity and compassion.

Audience comments from previous performances:

“A very special, moving and immensely absorbing production”
“Beautifully nuanced show – tender, moving, angry”
“A spell-binding evening. So compelling to watch and listen to …I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house”
“One of the most moving and thought-provoking events I have ever attended.”

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