NEVER SUCH INNOCENCE is a narrative recital of poetry, readings and music from the First World War, first performed in November 2016 as part of the Somme 100 commemorations and touring throughout 2017-18 to concert venues, theatres, schools and festivals.
One hundred years after the devastating events of the First World War, actor Christopher Kent and pianist Gamal Khamis look 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, Frank Bridge and Ivor Gurney.
In a moving and thought-provoking sequence, they also trace a narrative from the early innocence of pre-war life, though initial patriotic optimism to the deep sadness and loss that followed across Europe, while also following 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.
NEVER SUCH INNOCENCE was featured on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme in May 2018, and was described as “incredibly moving” by presenter Katie Derham.
NEVER SUCH INNOCENCE is available for booking for concert societies, festivals, schools and theatres. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 20 8991 1855 to enquire about availability.
Thursday 18th October, 1.15pm - Christ’s School, Richmond
Thursday 9th November 4.30pm & 7pm - Kingswood School, Bath
Friday 10th November, 7.30pm - Clapham Chamber Concerts, St Paul’s Church, London, SW4 0DX
Saturday 17th March, 7.30pm. - All Saints Church, Isleworth, TW7 6BE
Sunday 18th March, 7.30pm - Jermyn Street Theatre, London SOLD OUT
Sunday 27th May, 2.15pm - English Music Festival, Silk Hall, Radley College, Oxfordshire, OX14 2HR
Tuesday 3rd July, 7.30pm - Festival of Chichester, Oxmarket Centre of Arts, Chichester
Friday 13th July, 7.30pm - JAM on the Marsh Festival, St Dunstans Church, Romney Marsh
Wednesday 12th September, 7.15pm – Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ SOLD OUT
Thursday 13th September, 7pm – Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ
Friday 21st September, 7pm - Village Hall, Sutton Veny, Wiltshire BA12 7AP SOLD OUT
Sunday 30th September, 4.15pm - Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere, Hampshire, RG20 9JT SOLD OUT
Saturday 20th October, 7.30pm - Canterbury Festival, Sarah Thorne Theatre, Broadstairs
Friday 2nd November, 8.00pm – Southside House, Wimbledon, London, SW19 4RJ
Saturday 3rd November, 7.30pm - Bath Recitals, St Michael's Church, Bath
Monday 5th November, 7.30pm - Royal Overseas League, Park Place, St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1LR
Wednesday 7th November 7.30pm - Royal British Legion, Neston, Cheshire, CH64 9PB
Friday 9th November, 7.30pm – Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh, IP15 5BN
Sunday 11th November, 7.30pm - St Mary's, Perivale, London, UB6 8SS
Sunday 18th November, 7.30pm - Jermyn Street Theatre, London, SW1Y 6ST
Sunday 25th November, 7.30pm - New London Synagogue, London, NW8 0AT
Friday 30th November, 7.30pm – HEART Arts Centre, Bennett Road, Leeds, LS6 3HN
Saturday 1st December, 8pm - OSO Arts Centre, Barnes Green, London, SW13 0LF
“A very special, moving and immensely absorbing production”
"The most amazing evening... one of the most moving and thought provoking events I have ever attended."
“Beautifully nuanced show – tender, moving, angry”
“A spell-binding evening. So compelling to watch and listen to”
“The choice of poetry and music was perfect and the narrative and underlying story very moving…I don't think there was a dry eye in the house."
“I saw your wonderful performance tonight. Incredibly moving and a really beautifully curated and performed piece.”
“Thank you for the power and pathos of your performances.... I don’t think I have spent a more emotionally charged ninety minutes.”
Christopher Kent has appeared on stage, screen and radio in a wide range of roles from Shakespeare to contemporary drama. London theatre appearances have included Cyrano de Bergerac with Robert Lindsay at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and The Government Inspector with Timothy Spall at Greenwich Theatre. Chris is also one of the UK’s best known voiceover actors, regularly heard on commercials, documentaries, film trailers and literary recordings. His concert work includes readings of contemporary poetry with London’s Orlando Choir, the Voice of God in Britten's Noye's Fludde, and Myth, Hope and Tragedy, a programme of readings and music to commemorate the centenary of the Russian Revolution.
Gamal Khamis studied at the Royal College of Music. He first performed at the Wigmore Hall at the age of ten, and has since appeared at most of the major UK concert halls, across Europe, the USA and Canada, and on BBC Radio 3 and Dutch radio. He has worked with leading composers including Thomas Adès and Mark Anthony Turnage and has been a Concordia Foundation Artist since 2010, a Park Lane Group Artist since 2013, and is a member of the Lipatti Piano Quartet.