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Barbican Car Park Hosts Bassline, Guard at Tower

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One of the more off-beat venues audiences can take in a performance this month is the Barbican Centre car park, where next week (9 July) a new installation opens showcasing the work of theatre-maker Graeme Miller.

Running to 26 July, Bassline: London is a free multi-screen video and sound installation which aims to present “a new awareness of the city's landscape by exposing London's psychogeography”. Situated in the “hidden spaces” of the Barbican Centre's car park five, audiences can see and hear a series of recorded testimonies contributed by participants in a hour-long walk led by Miller last month, taking in the Barbican and surrounding area.

Those who took part included an 84-year-old writer and poet and his eight-year-old grandson, an Iranian performance student, and a 'visionary gardener'. Miller is collaborating on the project with double-bassist Tim Harries, who provides a soundtrack comprised of a solo bassline based on a piece by Henry Purcell (to mark the 350th anniversary of the birth of the composer).

Miller's previous projects include Bassline: Vienna in 2004, which took place in a tunnel between two of the city's underground stations.

Bassline: London runs as part of the bite09 festival, and is one of several outdoor events being staged by the Barbican this summer. Several installations commissioned as part of its Radical Nature art exhibition (19 - 18 October) can currently be seen in and around the venue, and Dancing in the Square is being held in Dalston's Gillett Square on 11 July, a free daytime event featuring a vibrant range of dance and music groups.

Staying with the theme of alternative outdoor venues, Carl Rosa Opera is presenting a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeoman of the Guard at the Tower of London on 13 and 15 September, the first time a performance of the comic opera has been staged there in over 30 years.

Directed by Peter Mulloy and featuring a cast led by Paul Nicholas, Susan Gordon, Donald Maxwell and Charlotte Page, it will be performed in the Tower's moat accompanied by the full Carl Rosa Orchestra conducted by Wyn Davies.

Set in the Tower during the 16th Century, The Yeoman of the Guard is a tale of ill-fated love, intrigue and escape in Tudor England, chronicling the events in the life of one Colonel Fairfax during the last days of his imprisonment in the Tower. It was first presented at the Savoy Theatre in 1888 and is considered the darkest of the Savoy operas.

- by Theo Bosanquet

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