Bach & Sons
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 beautiful, profound and funny new play is an anthem to the art that draws us together and sings of our common humanity.
"A blissful evening"Metro ★★★★★
“Simon Russell Beale gives a volcanic performance”THE TIMES ★★★★
“A hymn to the power of music”THE DAILY TELEGRAPH ★★★★
“A wonderful ensemble piece”ARTSDESK ★★★★
Performances of Bach & Sons are currently on sale at a reduced capacity, whilst also keeping some additional measures in place. We’ll continue to review this and capacity may increase at a later date.
£69.50, £57.50, £39.50, £25, £15
Previews & midweek matinees £59.50, £47.50, £35, £25, £15
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Monday – Saturday: 7.30pm
Wednesdays & Saturdays: 2.30pm
Approx 2hrs 30mins, including interval
Audio Described: Saturday 21 August 2.30pm (touch tour arrival at 12.45)
Captioned: Wednesday 25 August 2.30pm
From the programme
Let’s start with two zingers. The first ever recordings of Bach. You can find them on YouTube: Joseph Joachim, at the age of 72, in 1903, firing up the Tempo di Borea from the First Violin Partita. Chords crunch, notes spin, sparks fly. The second…More →
THEATRE includes Bach & Sons at The Bridge; national tour of Private Lives for Nigel Havers Theatre Company; repertory at Wolverhampton, Bournemouth, Crewe and Sidmouth; leading roles in Twelfth Night, Rebecca, Look Back in Anger, Sleuth, The Importance of Being Earnest, In Praise of Love, Abigail’s Party, The Mousetrap and The Norman Conquests; touring internationally in The 39 Steps, Stones in His Pockets, Art, Private Lives and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged); and appearing in the musicals A Slice of Saturday Night, Singin’ in the Rain, Crazy for You, Oklahoma!, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, and City of Angels. He has directed productions of Educating Rita and Gaslight. He has appeared in over 20 pantomimes up and down the country as Villain, Ugly and Dame.
TELEVISION AND FILM include 747: The Plan that Changed the World, Grange Hill, Weekender, Red Mercury and The Beer Hunter.
Theatre includes Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol in the West End.
Training Alpha Kidz.
Theatre This is his professional stage debut.
Simon Russell Beale
Theatre includes at The Bridge A Christmas Carol. For the National Theatre: The Lehman Trilogy (also West End and New York), King Lear, Timon of Athens, Collaborators, London Assurance, A Slight Ache, Landscape, Major Barbara, Much Ado About Nothing, The Alchemist, The Life of Galileo, Jumpers (also West End and New York), Humble Boy (also West End), Hamlet, Candide, Money, Othello, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and Volpone. For the Donmar Warehouse, Temple, Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya. For the Almeida, Richard II and Macbeth. At the Barbican, Julius Caesar. For the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Tempest and Richard III. At the Old Vic and in New York, Uncle Vanya and The Winter’s Tale. In the West End, Mr Foote’s Other Leg (from Hampstead Theatre), Privates on Parade, Monty Python’s Spamalot (also New York), and Deathtrap.
Television includes Persuasion, A Dance to the Music of Time, The Young Visiters, Dunkirk, John Adams, Spooks, Falstaff in The Hollow Crown, Penny Dreadful, and Vanity Fair; and as presenter for Great Historians, Monteverdi in Mantua, Symphony and Sacred Music.
Film includes An Ideal Husband, Hamlet, Alice in Wonderland, The Gathering, The Deep Blue Sea, My Life with Marilyn, Into the Woods, Tarzan, The Death of Stalin, Operation Finale, Radioactive, Mary Queen of Scots, Operation Mincemeat, and Benediction.
Radio Extensive work includes playing George Smiley in the adaptations of all the John Le Carré novels.
Ballet Playing The Duchess in Alice in Wonderland for the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden.
Simon Russell Beale was knighted in 2019.
Training Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Theatre includes The Ocean at the End of the Lane at the National Theatre and Harry
Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End.
Television includes Atlanta, Dracula, Pennyworth, Peaky Blinders, Grantchester and Doctors.
Film Misbehaviour and The French Dispatch.
Radio Doctor Who: Planet of the Witches
Theatre includes 8 Hotels at the Minerva Chichester; Our Town at Regent’s Park; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and The Country Wife at Sheffield Crucible; Beginners at the Unicorn; The Vote at the Donmar Warehouse; The House of Bernarda Alba and The Dark Earth and the Light Sky at the Almeida; If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet and 66 Books at the Bush; Serious Money at Birmingham Rep; Women of Troy, Some Trace of Her, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and After the Dance at the National Theatre; Kindertransport at Hampstead; Stephen and the Sexy Partridge at the Old Red Lion and Trafalgar Studios; You Might As Well Live at the New End (a one-woman show about Dorothy Parker) at the Pleasance Edinburgh and New End; Design for Living and Fight for Barbara for the Peter Hall Company at Bath Theatre Royal; and Man of Mode at the Northcott Exeter.
Television includes Master of None, Chernobyl, Delicious, Line of Duty, Count Arthur Strong, Penny Dreadful, Toast of London, Mr Selfridge, Titanic, Hotel Babylon, Coupling, NY-LON, Black Books, Comedy Lab: The Pooters, The Dark Room, Extremely Dangerous, The Peter Principle, Tears Before Bedtime, In Your Dreams and Wycliffe.
Film includes Earwig and the Witch, The Lady in the Van, I Give It a Year, A Bunch of Amateurs, Max and Run Fat Boy Run.
Al Coppola was previously seen at The Bridge in Bach & Sons. His other theatre credits include The Importance of Being Earnest for the Barn Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Split Second Productions, and Sonnet Walk, Journey’s End and Macbeth for Guildford Shakespeare Company. His television credits include Holby City.
Training Temple Academy of Performing Arts in Hayes.
Theatre This is his professional stage debut.
Theatre includes Live Like Pigs and Uganda at the Royal Court; Damon and Pythias at Shakespeare’s Globe; Martin Yesterday at the Royal Exchange, Manchester; The House of Bernarda Alba for Shared Experience; Les Justes at the Gate; The Girl on the Sofa at Edinburgh International Festival; The Tempest for Jericho House (on tour and at the Barbican); The Rest is Silence for the World Shakespeare Festival; Hospital at the Time of the Revolution at the Finborough; A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian for Hull Truck; Great Apes at the Arcola; Equus at Theatre Royal Stratford East; and Crooked Dances for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Television includes Silent Witness, Trial & Retribution, High Stakes, Coupling, Holby City, White Teeth, EastEnders, Houdini and Doyle, and Strike: Lethal White.
Film includes Mad Cows, Indian Summer / Alive and Kicking; The Book of Gabrielle and Disobedience; and the short films Being Alice, Cocoon and When Will I See You Again Sam.
Radio includes Home Front and Season’s Greetings.
Opera Wagner Dream at the Barbican.
Theatre includes Wendy and Peter Pan for the Royal Shakespeare Company; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Young Vic; The Night Before Christmas at Southwark Playhouse; and Dirty Crusty at the Yard.
Television includes A Gert Lush Christmas, The Crown, Harlots, Chernobyl and The Beast Must Die.
Film includes The Hustle and The Call Up.
THEATRE includes Bach & Sons at The Bridge; Rare Earth Metal at the Royal Court; So Many Reasons at the Soho (solo show); Three Sisters at the National Theatre; Snowflake for Arts at the Old Fire Station; Pygmalion for Headlong; Blood Wedding at Omnibus; Romeo and Juliet for Kenneth Branagh Company; This Is Private Property for Camden People’s Theatre; Portrait at the Edinburgh Festival, UK tour and Camden Fringe Festival (solo show); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Tooting Arts Club.
TELEVISION includes Big Age, Sliced, In the Long Run, Treadstone, Enterprice, Carnage:Swallowing the Past, Come Home and Wizards v Aliens.
FILM includes I Used to Be Famous, Artemis Fowl, Guns Akimbo and Ready Player One.
Theatre This is his professional stage debut.
Television includes The Serpent and Foundation.
Theatre includes Beginning at the National Theatre; The Mousetrap in the West End; Cold Feet and Bacon Sandwiches and How To Not Sink at Hampstead; Alice’s Adventures Underground at The Vaults; Party Trap at Shoreditch Town Hall; Jemima Puddleduck and Her Friends for The Unicorn; and Half a Sixpence on tour.
Television includes Sparklers and Xchange.
Film includes Mad to be Normal and The Gatehouse.
Theatre Leopoldstadt in the West End.
Television includes Holby City.
Film Brave Bunnies.
Still Photography includes Kids Lab for Pearson Education.
Nina Raine began her career as a trainee director at the Royal Court Theatre. She dramaturged and directed the verbatim play Unprotected at Liverpool Everyman, winning TMA best Director Award and Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for an Outstanding Production on a Human Rights Theme.
Plays include Rabbit, which she also directed, at the Old Red Lion in 2006, transferring to the Trafalgar Studios and as part of Brits-off-Broadway in New York (Charles Wintour Evening Standard Award and Critics Circle Award for most Promising Playwright); Tiger Country at Hampstead Theatre; Tribes at the Royal Court (also in New York, winning an Offie for Best New Play, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, and Off-Broadway Alliance Award; and has been staged worldwide); and Consent (also in the West End,and broadcast in NT at Home), and Stories (also directed) at the National Theatre.
Other directing includes Shades at the Royal Court (Critics Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Most Promising Newcomer); Longing by William Boyd at Hampstead and April de Angelis’ Jumpy at the Royal Court and in the West End.
Film includes an adaptation of her play Tribes.
Nicholas Hytner is Co-Founder of the Bridge Theatre where he has directed Young Marx, Julius Caesar, Allelujah!, Alys, Always, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Ladies, Beat the Devil, A Christmas Carol, Bach & Sons, The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage, and Straight Line Crazy. From 2003 to 2015, he was Director of the National Theatre where his productions included Henry V, His Dark Materials, The History Boys, Stuff Happens, Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2, The Habit of Art, England People Very Nice, Much Ado About Nothing, One Man, Two Guvnors, Timon of Athens and Othello.
FILM includes The Madness of King George and The Lady in the Van.
TELEVISION Talking Heads for the BBC.
OPERA includes Handel’s Xerxes for English National Opera and Giulio Cesare for Paris Opera; Mozart’s Magic Flute for ENO and Cosi Fan Tutte at Glyndebourne; and Verdi’s Don Carlo for the ROH.
Theatre includes The Visit, Anna, When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, Follies (Critics’ Circle Award for Design and Olivier Award for Best Costume Design 2018), The Plough and the Stars, The Threepenny Opera, Here We Go, The Silver Tassie, Othello, Hamlet, Waves, The Cat in the Hat, Three Sisters, The Seagull and Closer at the National Theatre; Wise Children for Emma Rice and Wise Children at the Old Vic; The Meeting at Chichester; Little Match Girl at Shakespeare’s Globe and on UK tour; and Oil at the Almeida. She has also designed for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Kneehigh, Young Vic, Donmar, Almeida, Royal Court, on Broadway and internationally.
Opera includes Death in Venice at the Royal Opera House; Lessons in Love and Violence and Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House and on international tour; Ariodante at Vienna Staatsoper; Written on Skin at Aix Festival and on tour; Al Gran Sole at Salzburg Festival and Staatsoper Berlin; Neither / Footfalls at Staatsoper Berlin; Die Entführung aus dem Seraglio, Die Meistersinger von Nurnburg and Cosí Fan Tutte at Glyndebourne; The Winter’s Tale, After Dido and The Way Back Home (also at the Young Vic) for English National Opera; and Wozzeck (Winner of the International Opera Award for Design 2016) at Lyric Opera, Chicago.
Theatre includes Augmented for Told by an Idiot at Royal Exchange Manchester; Funeral Flowers at the Roundhouse and on tour; The Bee in Me at the Unicorn; A History of Water in the Middle East at the Royal Court; The King of Hell’s Palace at Hampstead (as Associate Designer); Fly the Flag / Writing Wrongs at the Donmar Warehouse; The American Dream 2.0 at the Young Vic; My White Best Friend (And Other Letters Left Unsaid) and No One Is Coming to Save You (also Edinburgh Festival) for Bunker Theatre; Cacophony at the Almeida and Yard; Philoxenia and Hijabi Monologues at the Bush; I Want You to Admire Me (But You Shouldn’t) for Camden People’s Theatre; Loki and Cassie – A Love Story for The Almeida; Spun at the Arcola; and Mixtape at the Royal Exchange.
Opera includes Dido at the Unicorn (Linbury Prize); Opera Makers for Guildhall School of Music and Drama; and, as Assistant Designer, L’heure Espagnole and GianniSchicci at Opera National de Lorraine. She was given The Stage debut award for
Best Designer in 2018.
George Fenton works in film, theatre and television and has frequently adapted music for scores, notably Handel for The Madness of King George, and Vivaldi and JS Bach for Dangerous Liaisons.
Film Recent work includes The United Way, The Duke and The Secret: Dare to Dream. Other films include Cry Freedom, Shadowlands, The Fisher King, Groundhog Day, You’ve Got Mail, Hitch, The Wind that Shakes the Barley, I Daniel Blake, and The Lady in the Van.
Television includes The Jewel in the Crown, The Monocled Mutineer, Talking Heads, Life, and many themes including Shoestring, Bergerac, BBC News, Newsnight and On the Record. Also The Blue Planet, Planet Earth and The Frozen Planet. He conducts the Planet scores in concert with orchestras worldwide.
Theatre includes Visit from an Unknown Woman,The Smoking Diaries, Collaborators, Untold Stories, Mrs Henderson Presents and, at the Bridge Theatre, Allelujah!, Talking Heads, and Beat The Devil.
Theatre includes, for The Bridge: A Christmas Carol, Beat the Devil, Talking Heads, A German Life and Alys, Always. For the National Theatre: The Manor, Anna, The Lehman Trilogy (also West End and Broadway), I’m Not Running, Absolute Hell, Amadeus, As You Like It, The Beaux’ Stratagem, Othello, The Effect, Collaborators, A Woman Killed with Kindness, Hamlet, Greenland, Pains of Youth, Our Class, Damned by Despair, Women of Troy, The Cat in the Hat, Beauty & the Beast and Hansel and Gretel. For the RSC: Hamlet, The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, The Homecoming, The Winter’s Tale and King Lear (also in New York). In the West End The Shark is Broken, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Inheritance, The Jungle, Betrayal, Pinter at the Pinter season, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Doctor Faustus, King Charles III (also Broadway), The Commitments and The Ruling Class. For the Young Vic: Tree, The Jungle, The Inheritance (also New York and San Francisco), The Life of Galileo, and A Streetcar Named Desire. For the Almeida: Richard III and King Charles III. For the Donmar Warehouse Limehouse, Trelawny of the Wells and Moonlight. For the Old Vic: The Lorax (also Toronto, Minneapolis and San Diego). Other theatre includes Evita and Into the Woods at Regent’s Park; Salome for Headlong; and Water and Silence for Filter.
Opera includes Orpheus and Eurydice for ENO; Lucia di Lammermoor for Greek National Opera and ROH; The Turn of the Screw for Regent’s Park and ENO; The Exterminating Angel for The Metropolitan Opera (also ROH, Salzburg Festival, Royal Danish Opera); L’Étoile, Król Roger (also Opera Australia; Green Room Award for Best Lighting Design), and Written on Skin (also Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Lincoln Center NY, Bolshoi Moscow, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Toulouse) for the Royal Opera House; Hamlet at Glyndebourne (also Adelaide Festival); The Turn of the Screw (at Open Air Theatre); La Bohème (also DNO), Wozzeck, Caligula and The Return of Ulysses (at the Young Vic) for ENO; and The Perfect American for Teatro Real, Madrid (also ENO).
Dance includes The Cellist for the Royal Ballet, plus new work with Wayne McGregor, Cathy Marston, Will Tuckett, Karole Armitage, Bern Ballet and Scottish Dance Theatre.
Awards Olivier Award for The Inheritance, Knight of Illumination for Three Days of Rain and Green Room Australia for Król Roger.
Training Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (in theatre design).
Theatre includes Alys, Always at The Bridge; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End and New York; The Encounter for Complicité; The Barber Shop Chronicles, Othello, The Cat in the Hat, A Matter of Life and Death, Attempts on Her Life, Waves and John (DV8) at the National Theatre; Still No Idea for Improbable; As You Like It at Regent’s Park; Let The Right One In at the Abbey, Dublin; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Christmas Carol in the West End; Woyzeck at the Old Vic; City of Glass for Manchester Home and Lyric Hammersmith; Peter and the Starcatcher at Northampton; Boy at the Almeida; First Love is the Revolution at Soho; and The Glass Menagerie for Headlong. Other work includes The Master and Margarita, Shun-kin, and Endgame for Complicité; Black Watch for National Theatre Scotland; The Secret Agent for Theatre O; The Noise for Unlimited; The Cherry Orchard, Wild Swans, and Hamlet at the Young Vic; Victory Condition, B, and Road at the Royal Court; and Othello for Frantic Assembly. International work includes Reise Durch die Nacht at Schauspiel, Cologne; Richard III at the Old Vic, BAM and world tour; and Die Gelde Tapete and Fräulein Julie for the Schabühne, Berlin.
Exhibitions include: David Bowie Is, Glastonbury Land & Legend, Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright, Five Stages of Truth at the V&A; Digital Revolution at Barbican Curve; Eloise Hawser: By the deep, by the mark; Perfume at Somerset House; Moments of Silence at the Imperial War Museum, and Tycho Brahe in Denmark.
Events include: Somerset House Film4 Summer Screen & Ice Rink, Bloom, Five Telegrams (EIF opening events); Hampton Court 500 Rewind, Lighting the Sails 2014 (VIVID Live, Sydney), Soundscape Design, and the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Immersive Film & TV includes Hear Their There Here for iOS & Android, St Ann’s Warehouse; Cla’am (winner Best Short, Raindance); Draw Me Close (VR, NT ISS, selected for Tribeca and Vienna Film Festivals); advertising campaigns for Expedia, Bose, Volvo, Philips; and The Snow Queen, The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland and A Christmas Carol for BBC CBeebies.
Radio includes Omay, Jump, OK Computer and The Overwhelming.
Awards include Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; Special Tony, Drama Desk, Helpmann and Evening Standard Awards for The Encounter (with co-designer Pete Malkin); Olivier and Helpmann Awards for Black Watch; Olivier Award for Waves; and IRNE Award for Wild Swans.
Book Sound Design for the Stage.
He is a founder and former chairman of the Association of Sound Designers and an honorary fellow of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Eleanor Dolan is Head of Costume at the Bridge Theatre, where she has been Costume Designer on Beat the Devil and Costume Supervisor on A German Life.
Theatre includes, as Costume Supervisor, Enda Walsh’s Medicine For Landmark; Grief is the Thing With Feathers for Wayward at Galway Festival and St Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn; Ink in the West End; and as Assistant Costume Supervisor on Chimerica at the Almeida, where she was previously Head of Wardrobe and her work included The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, Against, OIL, King Charles III, Richard III, Medea, BOY, Oresteia, Bakkhai, Ghosts, and American Psycho. For Clean Break she designed costume for Little on the Inside and was Co-Supervisor for Billy the Girl at the Soho.
Film Costume Designer on upcoming film for Annapurna Pictures.
In the last twenty years Lily Mollgaard has worked on over 270 shows in the West End, on Broadway and beyond. She spent 10 years running the props department at Shakespeare’s Globe and 15 years as Prop Supervisor for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures which included The Car Man, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Red Shoes.
THEATRE includes Straight Line Crazy, A Number, Beat The Devil, Bach and Sons, White Noise, The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage, Julius Caesar, Night Fall and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Bridge; and Cyrano de Bergerac, Leopoldstadt, Prince of Egypt, 9 to 5, Hairspray, Nutcracker, The Good Life, The Lion King, Joseph, Made in Dagenham, The Producers, Oliver!, Shrek, Miss, Spamalot, Sister Act, Hairspray, School of Rock and Company in the West End; Jesus Christ Superstar for UK tour and on Broadway; Sunset Boulevard and Bombay Dreams at the Apollo Victoria and on Broadway; The Wild Duck at the Almeida; The Pinter Season (One, Two, Five and Six) at the Harold Pinter Theatre for the Jamie Lloyd Company; Evita at Regent’s Park; My Neighbour Totoro for the RSC; and Blithe Spirit at Theatre Royal Bath.
After graduating, Suzanne Scotcher worked for Madame Tussaud’s for the exhibitions in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York.
Theatre includes work for Chichester Festival Theatre; 18 years at the National Theatre, supervising Wigs, Hair & Make-up on 25 productions, including When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other, Phaedra, One Man, Two Guvnors, Home, Man and Superman, and Pillowman, and working on NT Live broadcasts, shown in cinemas worldwide; as well as photoshoots for NT production posters and for British and American Vogue.
Teaching includes at Christine Blundell Make-up Academy, Wimbledon College of Art, for the National Theatre Education Department, and on the BA (Hons) Hair Make-up and Prosthetics for Performance course at the London College of Fashion.
Theatre casting includes Bach & Sons, Talking Heads, A Number, Two Ladies and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Bridge; Don Juan in Soho and The Audience in the West End; and many productions for Sheffield Crucible Theatres.
Television includes The Crown, Chernobyl, Game of Thrones, The Serpent, Wolf Hall, London Spy, and Friday Night Dinner.