Routledge moves from Bouque to Blitz in classic war-time tales

Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth Bouque in BBC TV's Keeping Up Appearances.

Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth Bouque in BBC TV's Keeping Up Appearances.

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AWARD-winning actress and national treasure Patricia Routledge is linking up with internationally-renowned concert pianist Piers Lane at Harrogate Theatre.

The show on Wednesday, June 15, called Admission: One Shilling, tells the extraordinary story of British pianist Myra Hess and her famous wartime National Gallery concerts.

In Dame Myra’s own words (compiled by her great-nephew, composer Nigel Hess) with piano music by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Schumann and Chopin, we hear how the “great adventure” of these 1600 lunchtime concerts began, and how it continued while bombs rained down on London.

Admission: One Shilling was first performed by Patricia Routledge and Piers Lane in 2009 as part of the annual Dame Myra Hess Day at London’s National Gallery.

Patricia Routledge, who witnessed Myra Hess’ artistic prowess at a young age after watching a concert at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, is known to millions throughout the world as the indomitable Hyacinth in Keeping Up Appearances and as the elderly sleuth in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates.

One of Britain’s most distinguished actresses, regarded for her work in theatre, film, television and radio she is closely associated with the work of Alan Bennett, and has been received many awards over the years including a Tony Award in 1967, Top TV Comedy Actress and Personality of the Year Awards in 1991 and 1993, an O.B.E for services to the Performing Arts in 1993 and was created a C.B.E in 2004 for services to Drama.

For her contribution to maintaining the morale of Londoners when all other concert halls were closed, Myra Hess was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1941, having previously been created a CBE in 1936.

Concert pianist Piers Lane, who is a five-times soloist at the Proms, studied with Yonty Solomon, one of Hess’ few students and has directed the Myra Hess Day at the National Gallery since its inception in 2006.

l Tickets costing £23 and can be booked securely online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or through the Harrogate Theatre box office on 01423 502 116.