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The Alehouse Sessions

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Well, given that Oliver Cromwell had just shut down theatres across the country, which would remain the case for 18 years, they would end up being your prime source of live entertainment. It’s packed full of exercises for students, plus examples from the standard repertoire to show you how to integrate the technique into your playing. The Alehouse Sessions” has already enjoyed success in both the US and Europe, and you can get in on the action on September 23 at the Southbank Centre. In this interview, Bjarte Eike, artistic director of the Barokksolistene, talks about genesis of The Alehouse Sessions. But perhaps most exciting are the relationships the disc establishes between Purcell’s music and the nicely spoken melodies from Playford’s English Dancing Master and their bastard musical relations in other genres.

Barokksolistene’s signature project “The Alehouse Sessions”, devised and curated by Bjarte Eike, has been made into a film for television.We have a great line of music for everyone, with professional lighting, stage and sound all weekend. The film will be available online shortly after broadcast on Sunday 23rd April, 9pm and can be found here. In fact, we are recreating the anarchic spirit of Oliver Cromwell’s lockdown London when the theatres and playhouses were shut down by the Puritans and the musicians surreptitiously crept into the backrooms of alehouses and inns in protest.

It gives audiences a window into this tumultuous period through Purcell overtures, English sea shanties, and Scandinavian folk songs thrown in for good measure. BBC Four is broadcasting our Alehouse Sessions which filmmaker Dominic Best filmed in Battersea Arts Centre one snowy night in December. The Alehouse Sessions is produced by Dominic Best for AdLib Productions and the commissioning editor is Stephen James-Yeoman. The exotic musical sound-world of 17th-century London is brought vividly to life by one of the world's most dynamic and virtuosic performing groups - Bjarte Eike and Barokksolistene - plus a cameo appearance by celebrated soprano Mary Bevan.A Changing Places toilet is located on Level 1 Royal Festival Hall next to the JCB Glass Lift, for the exclusive use of disabled people who need personal assistance to use the toilet. Curated by Bjarte Eike, Barokksolistene bring their unique performance experience to create the essence and atmosphere of 17th century London when Oliver Cromwell's laws that prohibited excess and closed theatres abolished the city's arts scene.

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