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Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa by Vanishing Point & Scottish Ensemble

Update: Tabula Rasa now available to watch on BBC iPlayer


A major new co-production from Vanishing Point and Scottish Ensemble. Visit our Tabula Rasa microsite here. 

‘Several people have told me essentially this same story about the still, sad music of Pärt – how it became, for them or for others, a vehicle of solace. One or two such anecdotes seem sentimental; a series of them begins to suggest a slightly uncanny phenomenon.’ Alex Ross, New York Times

Two of Scotland's foremost performing groups present a co-production that sets Arvo Pärt's spiritual and mesmeric Tabula Rasa (as well as Spiegel im Spiegel and Fratresin a theatrical context, exploring the recognised role of the piece in the care of patients during their final days.

With musicians forming an integral part of the drama, this visionary production explores the documented role of Pärt’s haunting piece, which has come to be known - and used - as a profound and transcendental piece of music. It is a life-affirming exploration of care, humanity, suffering - and the uplifting power, and endless importance, of art.

The UK’s leading string orchestra, Scottish Ensemble is a group of outstanding musicians championing music written for strings, becoming increasingly known for its bold, adventurous collaborations with artists from other genres and forms.



Performance dates

Fri 3 - Sat 4 Nov 2017 (previews)
Fri 7pm / Sat 2pm
Platform, Glasgow

Wed 8 Nov (Preview) + Thu 9 - Sat 11 Nov 2017 
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Post show discussion on Fri 10th Nov

Thu 16 Nov 2017
Eden Court, Inverness
Post show discussion

Wed 22 - Fri 24 Nov 2017
Tramway, Glasgow
Post show discussion on Thu 23rd Nov


**** The Scotsman

**** The Herald 

"an ambitious, thought-provoking show, one that refuses to offer glib answers to the questions it raises" **** The Arts Desk

"This is a beautiful production. As director, co-writer and designer, Matthew Lenton has created a visually stunning tribute to a human life and the people who care for it in its final days" **** The Wee Review

"a thoughtful and poignant performance" **** Bachtrack

"a hypnotic hybrid... The musical interludes complement these passages of text, allowing space to contemplate the questions raised by the story, around care and compassion and what it means to live meaningfully and die with dignity. As this is Vanishing Point, the production is also visually gorgeous, lit in subtle shades by Kai Fischer, with the performers fading in and out of the space, like ghosts" **** The Times

**** Edinburgh Guide

Preview articles

"A sneak peak at the Scottish Ensemble's new season" The Cusp Magazine 

The Herald 

The Scotsman

The List

The Guardian

Listen to an interview with Vanishing Point's Matthew Lenton and Scottish Ensemble's Jenny Jamison, on the Janice Forsyth Show on BBC Scotland - jump to 60 minutes in (aired Tue 7th Nov 2017)



A co-production between Vanishing Point and Scottish Ensemble

Conceived, directed, co-written and designed by Matthew Lenton

Musical direction by Jonathan Morton
Music Arvo Pärt *
Lighting Design by Kai Fischer
Creative Associate & Co-writer Pauline Goldsmith
Design Assistant Fraser Lappin

Performers Pauline Goldsmith & Sarah Short 

Violin: Jonathan Morton, Cheryl Crockett, Daniel Pioro, Clio Gould, Joanne Green, Laura Ghiro
Viola: Jane Atkins, Andrew Berridge
Cello: Alison Lawrence, Naomi Pavri
Double Bass: Diane Clark
Piano: Sophie Rahman

Photography: Hugh Carswell / Niall Walker

Selections from Snow, by and copyright to Marcus Sedgwick, are used in the performance with permission. Read Marcus's blog about seeing the show here

*Tabula Rasa, Spiegel im Spiegel and Fratres. Music by Arvo Pärt.
By arrangement with Universal Edition A.G Wien. 

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