Joining Simon Russell Beale who will play Johann Sebastian Bach in the world premiere of Nina Raine’s Bach & Sons are Samuel Blenkin as Carl, Pandora Colin as Maria Barbara, Ruth Lass as Katharina, Douggie McMeekin as Wilhelm, Racheal Ofori as Anna Magdalena and Pravessh Rana as Frederick the Great.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner, performances at The Bridge are from 23 June – 9 September 2021. The associate director is James Cousins, with set designs by Vicki Mortimer, costumes designed by Khadija Raza, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Gareth Fry and music supervised by George Fenton.
Johann Sebastian Bach, irascible and turbulent, writes music of sensuous delight for his aristocratic patrons, and gives voice to his deep religious faith in music for the church. He’s touchy, he’s fabulously rude, he has high standards (he stabs a bassoonist for playing badly) and he’s constantly in trouble with his employers. Music is the family business – both his wives and all his children are musicians. His eldest son, Wilhelm, is brilliant, chaotic and paralysed by his father’s genius. Tense, industrious Carl is less talented than his father but more successful. As the years pass, their gripping family drama provokes furious arguments about love, God and above all music. What is it for – to give pleasure, like a cup of coffee in the sun, or to reveal the divine order that gives life its meaning? Nina Raine’s play is an anthem to the art that draws us together and sings of our common humanity.