Calendar

May
20
Mon
Rainer Hersch’s Victor Borge @ Perth Theatre
May 20 @ 7:30 pm
Rainer Hersch's Victor Borge @ Perth Theatre

Victor Borge was a brilliant pianist, virtuoso comedian and “the funniest man in the world” (New York Times). In the 1960s he became the world’s highest paid entertainer, loved by audiences around the globe – a career which lasted to his death in the year 2000.

In this award-winning show, his extraordinary life is retold and his hilarious act re-imagined for the 21st century by his natural successor, Rainer Hersch.

A virtuoso comedian in his own right, Rainer has been entertaining audiences with his own brand of musical humour for over twenty years. A total sellout at Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in appearances across three continents, this show is “a tearstreamingly funny tribute” from one great performer to another – a treat for Borge fans and newcomers alike.

At Perth Festival, Rainer Hersch teams up with internationally acclaimed pianist Danny Driver and Spanish soprano Laura Ruhí Vidal to re-ignite the magic of Victor Borge’s classic routines. Don’t miss this “Broadway calibre show” (Montreal Gazette) with musicians of the highest calibre and comedy like no other on the stage today.

“Two great comedians for the price of one ★★★★★” (Metro)

“Victor Borge for a new generation” (Sunday Times)

“Don’t miss this divine comedy” (Daily Mail)
“The most captivating solo performance I have ever seen” (Edmonton Journal, Canada)

May
21
Tue
Danny Driver and Laura Ruhí Vidal @ Perth Theatre
May 21 @ 11:00 am

We are delighted to be joined by pianist Danny Driver and soprano Laura Ruhí Vidal for a colourful programme that interlaces piano music and song written between 1903 and 1917.

Debussy’s stately evocation of ancient Greek art and his mystical conjuring of an evening in Moorish Granada introduce song cycles by Ravel and Falla. The recital closes with Ravel’s piano work Le Tombeau de Couperin, an intimate yet virtuosic homage to French baroque keyboard tradition, and at the same time a memorial to friends and acquaintances killed in the Great War.

Tickets include teas and coffees prior to the performance.

About the Artists

The enthusiasm and appreciation of audiences and critics around the world has cemented Danny Driver’s international repuation as a versatile and creative pianist of sophistication, interpretative insight and musical depth. His recordings have earned three Gramophone Award nominations, Limelight Magazine’s Instrumental Recording of the Year 2014, and recent selection in the New York Times’ 25 Best Classical Records of 2017. Solo recital invitations bring Driver to concert halls across Europe, Asia and North America, while concerto engagements have taken him to orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and frequent collaborations with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In a decade-long relationship with Hyperion Records, Driver has produced an acclaimed solo discography.

Soprano Laura Ruhí Vidal (Girona, 1990) graduated from the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where she also studied the BMus (Hons) and was awarded Artist Fellowship. While opera is her great passion, Laura has a wide range of experience in the UK in festivals and venues such as Cadogan Hall and The Barbican. Laura’s operatic roles include Madame Herz in Der Schauspieldirektor, Papagena in The Magic Flute and Zerlina in Don Giovanni, to name a few. Laura has also performed regularly with the Maria Camahort Quintet, a chamber ensemble peforming traditionally rooted Spanish classical music. Onstage, she has received praise for her effortless stage presence with impressive contact focused performance, sure technique and beautiful lyrical line, expressing emotion and warmth.

May
22
Wed
Contemporary Music Showcase, Perth College UHI @ Perth Theatre (Joan Knight Studio)
May 22 @ 7:30 pm
Contemporary Music Showcase, Perth College UHI @ Perth Theatre (Joan Knight Studio)

Perth College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands, presents a Contemporary Music Showcase highlighting the creative performance practice from its Perth College UHI Popular Music Department.

The BA (Hons) Popular Music Students will present songs and instrumental music from popular music that highlight collaboration across a range of genres.

The programme will primarily feature fresh original compositions by up and coming student songwriters with support from Perth College UHI staff.

This is the first event of its kind for Perth Festival of the Arts and we look forward to seeing you there to experience a diverse and exciting show.

Morgan State University Choir @ St Matthew's Church
May 22 @ 7:30 pm
Morgan State University Choir @ St Matthew's Church

The Morgan State University Choir is one of America’s most prestigious university choral ensembles. The choir has performed around the world to critical acclaim and with major symphony orchestras including Chicago Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.

In 2015, at the request of First Lady Michelle Obama, the choir performed for a nationally televised concert in the White House along with Aretha Franklin.

Led by Dr. Eric Conway, Director, the choir will perform an all-American programme including American spirituals/ gospel music, American art song and excerpts from Porgy and Bess.

Join us for a soul-stirring evening of music in St Matthews Church.

About Dr. Eric Conway, Director

Since 2004, Eric Conway has served as the director of the Morgan State University Choir as well as chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department. Conway has travelled all over the world, directing the choir in Czech Republic, Ghana, China, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, Australia and Columbia, to name just a few destinations. Prior to serving as Director, Conway served as principal accompanist for the choir for over twenty years.

Yamaha NEO Ensemble @ Perth Concert Hall
May 22 @ 7:30 pm

A group of eight internationally endorsed performing artists led by acclaimed long-standing Yamaha cornert artist Russell Gray.

Based all around Europe, Yamaha NEO Ensemble come together to perform a range of reportoire from Debussy to Piazolla. For their appearance at Perth Festival of the Arts, they will be inviting students from local schools to perform alongside them in Perth Concert Hall.

The Artists
Russell Gray Cornet/Trumpet (Musical Director) Scotland
Stanley Westh Cornet/Trumpet Denmark
George Thackray Eb Horn/ French Horn England
Margaret Antrobus Baritone Norway
David Thornton Euphonium England
Armin Bachman Trombone Switzerland
Eirik Gjerdavik Tuba Norway
Hans-k Wergeland Percussion Norway

May
23
Thu
Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany @ Perth Theatre
May 23 @ 6:45 pm – 6:45 pm
Eleanor's Story: An American Girl in Hitler's Germany @ Perth Theatre

Adapted by Ingrid Garner. Directed by Craig Tyrl. Ages 12+

During the great depression, when she is nine, Eleanor’s family moves from her beloved America to Germany, where a new job awaits her father. But war breaks out as her family is crossing the Atlantic and return to the United States becomes impossible. Eleanor struggles to maintain stability, hope and identity in a world of terror and contrasts.

This true story, with its themes of social and political turmoil, is strikingly relevant almost 80 years later. Ingrid Garner, the show’s writer and sole performer, enacts the universal yet seldom reported experience of civilians in wartime. In a thoroughly physical production, accompanied by sound, images and video, the audience is immersed in her grandmother’s harrowing journey of survival.

Telegraph’s #1 Theatre Pick, Edinburgh Fringe 2017

WINNER! ‘Critics Choice Award’ Fringe World 2015, Perth, Australia.

★★★★★ “The powerful story is unforgettable – a must-see for history buffs and theatre-aficionados alike”

The Young’uns: The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff @ Perth Theatre
May 23 @ 8:00 pm
The Young'uns: The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff @ Perth Theatre

Three time BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners, The Young’uns, present a new and unique piece of modern folk theatre.

The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff is the story of one man’s adventure from begging on the streets in the north of England to fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War, taking in the Hunger Marches and the Battle of Cable Street. It’s a timely, touching and often hilarious musical adventure following the footsteps of one working-class hero who witnessed some of the momentous events of the 1930s.

With their trademark harmony, honesty and humour, the Teeside trio bring together 16 specially-composed songs, spoken word, striking imagery, and the real recorded voice of Johnny himself to tell a remarkable human story oozing with modern relevance.

“The harmonies are glorious, the wit is waspish. The songs are powerful, the banter is relentless and the audience is happy. What’s not to like?”
★★★★★ The Guardian
“Glorious….celebrating the uncelebrated with warmth, vigour and passion”
★★★★ MOJO
“A heartfelt secular hymnary for these troubled times and a rallying call for humanity.”
★★★★ The Scotsman
Running time approx. 1 hour 50 minutes, including interval.

May
24
Fri
Horrible Histories: Brand New Barmy Britain @ Perth Theatre
May 24 @ 4:30 pm
Horrible Histories: Brand New Barmy Britain @ Perth Theatre

It’s time to prepare yourselves for Horrible Histories live on stage with a brand new West End show that has never toured before – featuring all new scenes full of fun and facts!

Would you be shaken or stirred by Richard III? Mount a mutiny against King Henry VIII! See Mary Tudor knock the spots off Mary Queen of Scots! Will Queen Elizabeth I endure her terrible teeth? Would you be hanged by King James I for being a witch?

Peep into the world of Samuel Pepys and help Georgian detectives find the headless man! Take a trip into the night with the night soil men and discover how to survive the first ever train ride!

It’s the history of Britain with the nasty bits left in!

Presented by The Birmingham Stage Company, this show appeared at the Apollo Theatre in the West End as ‘Barmy Britain – Part Four’ summer 2018.

Horrible Histories: Brand New Barmy Britain @ Perth Theatre
May 24 @ 7:00 pm
Horrible Histories: Brand New Barmy Britain @ Perth Theatre

It’s time to prepare yourselves for Horrible Histories live on stage with a brand new West End show that has never toured before – featuring all new scenes full of fun and facts!

Would you be shaken or stirred by Richard III? Mount a mutiny against King Henry VIII! See Mary Tudor knock the spots off Mary Queen of Scots! Will Queen Elizabeth I endure her terrible teeth? Would you be hanged by King James I for being a witch?

Peep into the world of Samuel Pepys and help Georgian detectives find the headless man! Take a trip into the night with the night soil men and discover how to survive the first ever train ride!

It’s the history of Britain with the nasty bits left in!

Presented by The Birmingham Stage Company, this show appeared at the Apollo Theatre in the West End as ‘Barmy Britain – Part Four’ summer 2018.

Cross Trust Young Musicians @ St Matthew's Church
May 24 @ 7:30 pm

Celebrating the finest in youth music today, The Cross Trust presents four award-winning artists who pay homage to musical traditions whilst simultaneously developing their own voices.

Founded by Sir Alexander Cross of Battleby, Perthshire, The Cross Trust has been helping young Scots to fulfill their aspiration and potential for 75 years.

Featuring Anna Michels (classical piano), Murphy Robertson (classical saxophone), Luca Manning (jazz voice) and Iona Fyfe (traditional voice).

The concert will include Rachmaninov, contemporary works for Saxophone, Gerschwin and traditional song from the North East of Scotland.

About the Artists
Classical pianist Anna Michels studied at the Junior Academy of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is currently in her third year at the Maastricht Conservatoire studying for a double Bachelor in Classical Piano and Music Theory. Since moving to the Netherlands, she has won the Maastricht Concerto Competition playing Mozart Concerto No. 20. As a Falkirk lass, Anna was honoured to be awarded the Falkirk Civic Trust ‘Young Personality of the Year’ for 2017 and is delighted to be performing Grieg Piano Concerto with the Falkirk Tryst Orchestra in May 2019.
Murphy Robertson started her musical journey as a trumpet player in bands such as Perthshire Brass Band and Perth Youth Orchestra. She took up saxophone in 2012 and attended the Saturday Academy at the Royal Conservatoire in Scotland and Douglas Academy specialist music school. Murphy is currently in her final year at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she has collaborated with composers for Cheltenham Music Festival. As well as playing in shows in London, her love lies in chamber music and she plays regularly with the Albatross Saxophone Quartet giving recitals and masterclasses. Murphy will be touring Scotland and Ireland with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra this summer.
Luca Manning is an award winning Jazz vocalist and composer from Glasgow. He is inspired by a wide range of artists and musical styles, as well as being firmly rooted in the tradition of jazz. Currently in his first year at the Guildhall School of Music on the Bmus Jazz degree, Luca has already had the opportunity to perform at festivals across the UK. In 2018, he was voted ‘Rising Star’ at the Scottish Jazz Awards and nominated in the ‘Best Vocalist’ category. His ability as not just a consummate vocalist but a gifted improvsier, continues to enthral audiences and shows maturity well beyond his years.
Aberdeenshire folksinger, Iona Fyfe, has become one of Scotland’s finest young ballad singers, rooted deeply in the singing traditions of the North East of Scotland. Winner of Scots Singer of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2018, Iona has been described as “one of the best Scotland has to offer”. With several high profile appearances under her belt, Iona, a mere 21 years, has spent 2018 performing in the UK, Europe and Canada. Her debut album Away From My Window was held to critical acclaim and received nationwide airplay.

May
25
Sat
Music on a Saturday Morning: Katie Coventry @ St John's Kirk
May 25 @ 11:00 am
Music on a Saturday Morning: Katie Coventry @ St John's Kirk

Enjoy a morning recital in the beautiful setting of St John’s Kirk with Scottish Mezzo Soprano Katie Coventry.

Katie is a recent graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera School where she studied with Tim Evans-Jones as an Independent Opera Voice Scholar. She is currently performing at the Salzburger Landestheater, where the 2018/19 season will see her perform Rosette Manon, Doralice La Gazzetta, Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina Don Giovanni and in Philip Glass’s The Trial.

An English National Opera Harewood Artist, Katie made her début there as Cherubino, and at the Teatro Real, Madrid, as Jennie Hildebrand in Street Scene.

She has also performed with the Camerata Salzburg and Glyndebourne Festival Opera and has wide-ranging concert platform experience. Katie was a finalist for the inaugural Grange Festival International Singing Competition, the winner of the 2017 Joaninha Award, and is also an Independent Opera Voice Fellow.

An Audience with John Simpson @ Perth Theatre
May 25 @ 3:00 pm
An Audience with John Simpson @ Perth Theatre

With over 40 years’ experience in international journalism John Simpson has dodged the bullets in Tiananmen Square, danced on top of the Berlin Wall, and was on hand for the revolutions in Czechoslovakia and Romania. He stood alongside Boris Yeltsin during the KGB coup which brought down the Soviet Union, and was the first Western journalist to penetrate the KGB headquarters in Moscow.

John has reported from 140 countries and interviewed around 200 world leaders, including Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin, Margaret Thatcher and every other British prime minister since Harold Wilson, every German Chancellor since Willy Brandt and every French President since Giscard d’Estaing. Among others he has interviewed Mrs Gandhi, Emperor Bokassa, Colonel Gadaffi, Bashir al-Asad, Nelson Mandela, and Robert Mugabe. He has covered forty-six wars on four continents, not to mention the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania.

Last autumn John’s novel – a fast paced and revelatory thriller – MOSCOW, MIDNIGHT was published to critical acclaim, and John will sign copies of this and his other books after his talk.

In this fascinating afternoon, John will talk about some of the difficult and often dangerous situations he has faced as a reporter, as well as some of the more light-hearted and amusing tales from his own travels interwoven with stories of figures who went before him, such as Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn and Charles Wheeler.

Presented in Association with Clive Conway Productions

Russian Philharmonic (of Novosibirsk) @ Perth Concert Hall
May 25 @ 7:30 pm
Russian Philharmonic (of Novosibirsk) @ Perth Concert Hall

Our Festival closes with a concert not to be missed! We are delighted to welcome the Russian Philharmonic (of Novosibirsk) including the exciting young pianist, Sergey Redkin.

Sergey was the winner of the prestigious Tchaikovsky piano competition for a scintillating performance of Rachmaninov’s ever popular Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini with its haunting melody and variations.

The orchestra will be performing two works by Tchaikovsky including his richly colourful and joyful Romeo & Juliet Overture and his final composition; the Pathetique, his greatest symphony and possibly his greatest work.

Conducted by Thomas Sanderling

Tchaikovsky Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture
Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
INTERVAL
Tchaikovsky Symphony no. 6 Pathetique