Performance: Chasing the Butterfly: A performance for actors, dancers and oboist

18 January 2019, 19:30

Please check signage on the day for details

Free ticket required. Book online, or visit the Gallery in person

Mary and Margaret Gainsborough, the Artist’s Daughters, Chasing a Butterfly by Thomas Gainsborough © The National Gallery, London.
Mary and Margaret Gainsborough, the Artist’s Daughters, Chasing a Butterfly by Thomas Gainsborough © The National Gallery, London.

Gainsborough's adult daughters are living in Acton. The younger, Margaret, is caring for her older sister Mary, who has descended into mental illness following her brief marriage to her father's best friend the celebrated oboist Johann Christian Fischer. They see their happy younger selves as dancers chasing the butterfly (Gainsborough's 1756 painting).

This immersive performance is based upon  the surviving paintings by Gainsborough of his daughters currently on display as part Gainsborough’s Family Album. Consisting of short vignettes of dance and movement set to the music of oboist Johann Christian Fischer, it charts the development and decline of Mary (‘Molly’) and Margaret (‘Peggy’), who are portrayed by two sets of performers as the sisters both as young girls and young women.

Director: Luke Dixon
Musical Director: Tyrone Landau
Choreographer: Jane Turner
Cast: Angie Goddard, Maja Laskowska, Fiona McKinnon, Lizzie Willis,
Oboist: Liesbeth Allart with Theatre & Performance Practice students from London Metropolitan University

Duration: Approximately 40 minutes

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