A QUARTET of actors including Mona Lisa star Cathy Tyson and Miltos Yerolemou from Game of Thrones will join forces with a powerhouse string quartet in a new production from one of Europe’s most exciting theatre directors.
Calixto Bieito, arguably the most sought-after European opera and theatre director of his generation, brings his new theatre show The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety to the Theatre Royal Brighton on May 23 and 24 as part of the Brighton Festival.
The tempestuous relationship between sex, anxiety and music comes to a head in the show, which features live music from award-winning The Heath Quartet.
Alongside Cathy Tyson, who also starred in the ITV drama series Band of Gold, and Miltos Yerolemou, who played Syrio Forel in Game of Thrones and has also appeared in the movies Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Danish Girl, will be Mairead McKinley, whose stage credits include Filthy Business at Hampstead Theatre and Cyrano De Bergerac at the National Theatre, and Nick Harris, who was recently in North by Northwest, a new production of the Hitchcock classic by Australian director Simon Phillips at the Theatre Royal Bath.
The four actors and the four musicians blend to recreate the melody of melancholy, taking its audience on a journey through time to explore how our innermost thoughts battle with our artistic impulses.
Known for his radical reinterpretations of classic operas and plays, Calixto Bieito drew inspiration for this production from two maverick philosophers: The Burnout Society (2015) by the Korean-German philosopher Byung-Chul Han and The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), an essay by Robert Burton, one of the first to write about psychological disorders as a symptom of modern times.
Music performed by The Heath Quartet will include Beethoven String Quartet No.15 in A Minor, Op. 132 and Ligetti String Quartet No. 2.
Calixto Bieito says, “The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety is like a symphonic poem for a quartet of musicians, and a quartet of voices. It will consider the human condition today, and where anxiety and depression stem from. The show will be about how the current times are affecting the quality of our lives as well as our fears, and I hope it will be both entertaining and enlightening.”
The Spanish director and The Heath Quartet previously worked together for Bieito’s 2013 production of Fidelio for ENO. Charismatic and sought after, The Heath Quartet won the 2016 Gramophone Chamber Award for their recording of the complete string quartets of Sir Michael Tippett, and in May 2013 became the first ensemble in 15 years to win the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists Award. Formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music, The Heath Quartet are violinists Oliver Heath and Sara Wolstenholme, Gary Pomeroy on viola and cellist Christopher Murray.
The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety is at the Theatre Royal Brighton, New Road, Brighton, at 7.30pm on Wednesday and Thursday May 23 and 24. Tickets £19.15-£31.65. Phone 0844 871 7650 or visit atgtickets.com.
Above: Cathy Tyson
Main picture, top: A scene from The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety/picture: Erwin Olaf
Below: Miltos Yerolemou
Above: Mairead McKinley
Below: Nick Harris
Above: Calixto Bieito
Below: The Heath Quartet/picture: Simon Way