How would Samuel Pepys respond to seeing the details of his life and diary displayed in public for all to see?
On Saturday 27th February, Reverie in collaboration with composer Freya Waley-Cohen and poet Caleb Klaces, will present a new immersive installation, ‘The Glass and Rope Between Us – Pepys visits Pepys’, in the Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire and Revolution exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, using the medium of song to represent the thoughts of Samuel Pepys as he views the artifacts of his own life.
Reverie has previously collaborated with Freya and Caleb at Kew Gardens in October 2014, with ‘Linea’, a site specific work for the Princess of Wales Glasshouse as part of the Festival of Intoxication. In this project, twenty singers were spaced all around the glasshouse, and discovered by visitors to the gardens, as they explored the exotic and mind altering plants. Watch Matilda Hay’s documentary about that project here!
On 27th February, ten singers will be found in the exhibition singing new music which responds directly to the fascinating content of the gallery. What did Pepys feel as his home was destroyed by fire? How would the ubiquitously unfaithful Pepys respond to the portrait of his wife Elizabeth? This installation mirrors the exhibition’s separation between Pepys as a public and private figure, and draws on the sardonic humour of the diaries to depict the character of Pepys in a 21st century context.
Reverie’s singers will interact with the audience as they explore the gallery, sometimes taking them by surprise, and revealing some of the unexpected aspects of Pepys’ character from the funny to the crude.
Sharing the process of responding artistically to an historical exhibition, primary school children from the local area will be visiting the exhibition to learn about Samuel Pepys, and through a series of workshops with Reverie’s practitioners, writing their own poems and songs based on the gallery content. These will be performed in the Big Map at the National Maritime Museum at 1pm on Friday 26th Feb.
This project has been generously supported with fundings from Arts Council England, PRS for Music Foundation and Elias Fawcett Trust.
View the event on our website, here