/, Music, Poetry, Theatre/Never Such Innocence – Christopher Kent, actor / Gamal Khamis, piano
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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 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. As well as poetry the programme draws on  include extracts from letters, diaries and accounts from personal family history.

 

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.

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