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Spektrix Ref 1: Blues150924


Sunday 15 September, 3:00pm


Performance 3:00pm, ends 4:00pm, no interval

Tickets £20 / £10 (under 25)


Jonathan Gunthorpe & Kate Romano, narrators


Larkin’s Blues is a story about two of Larkin’s great loves; his relationship with jazz (faithful, deeply rewarding) and his relationship with Monica Jones (complex, evasive). Words poured from Larkin’s pen in his critiques and correspondence, improvised and uninhibited; and the script draws on his crisp, penetrating jazz reviews, and his letters to Monica; sharp, witty, cruel and touching. Kate Romano’s new semi-staged production for the Granary brings these two life-long love affairs together, illustrated with a vintage collage of Larkin’s own photographic images and a soundtrack of original jazz recordings from the 20s and 30s including Bix Beiderbecke, Art Tatum and Count Basie.


Jonathan Gunthorpe has an extensive international performance and recording career as an opera, concert, recital and choral singer and is a gifted narrator. He has performed as a soloist at venues across the world including the Royal Opera House, La Monnaie, La Scala, Théâtre du Châtelet, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and in Los Angeles, Guangzhou and Beijing. He studied English and Russian at Leeds University, and undertook post graduate studies in music at Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. He is currently Associate Head of Vocal and Operatic Studies tat the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. 


Kate Romano has written and presented over 200 short stories for BBC Radio 3. She is a frequent interviewer and guest writer for cultural magazines, the BBC Proms and BBC Orchestras, and has written and directed seven acclaimed shows for younger audiences. As a producer, she has commissioned scripts for touring stage works from poets Simon Armitage and Nancy Gaffield and was both producer and performer of Melodies of Earth and Sky, an album of music by Julian Philips and poems by John Clare, read by actor Toby Jones. A classically trained musician and CEO of the Granary, Kate's interest in writing stems from a love of reading and a fascination with different art forms and the ways they intersect.