Alison Balsom in Gabriel

An Entertainment with Trumpet

Alison Balsom with trumpet

All human life is here: Samuel Adamson’s theatrical celebration of Baroque music brings to life the sights, sounds and stories of 17th-century London through the eyes of a court trumpeter.

Alison Balsom’s performances of Purcell and his contemporaries give heart and soul to a bustling, exuberant entertainment; a breathtaking evocation of Restoration London in all its colour, clamour, and glorious chaos. Characters from monarchs to watermen – played by actors Jamie Parker (Harry Potter), Jack Farthing (Poldark), Anjana Vasan (Doll’s House) and Amanda Wilkin (Emilia) – cross paths in a narrative tied together by Balsom’s resplendent natural trumpet-playing.

‘Speech, song and score flow together in one teeming whole that sweeps you along with it’ wrote Dominic Cavendish of the Daily Telegraph after Gabriel was first performed at Shakespeare’s Globe. Reimagined here for the Barbican stage, prepare for a fresh encounter with a theatrical experience that (in Cavendish’s words) ‘leaves you giddy with pleasure and fully smitten’.

End-time to be announced nearer the event.

Co-produced by the Barbican and Saffron Hall


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‘What binds the piece together is the trumpet's ability to mix strength and sweetness, and the comparable blend, in 1690s London, of dirt and delicacy.‘

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