Chasing The Butterfly at The National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery lates commissioned long term collaborators, Luke Dixon and Tyrone Landau to create

Performance: Chasing the Butterfly: A performance for actors, dancers and oboist involving students from London Metropolitan University

18 January 2019, 18:30

Mary and Margaret Gainsborough, the Artist’s Daughters, Chasing a Butterflyby Thomas Gainsborough © The National Gallery, London.

Gainsborough’s adult daughters are living in Acton. The younger, Margaret, is caring for her older sister Mary, who has descended into mental illness following her brief marriage to her father’s best friend the celebrated oboist Johann Christian Fischer. They see their happy younger selves as dancers chasing the butterfly (Gainsborough’s 1756 painting).

This immersive performance was based upon the surviving paintings by Gainsborough of his daughters currently on display as part Gainsborough’s Family Album in the Gallery. Consisting of short vignettes of dance and movement set to the music of oboist Johann Christian Fischer, it charts the development and decline of Mary (‘Molly’) and Margaret (‘Peggy’), who are portrayed by two sets of performers as the sisters both as young girls and young women.

Director: Luke Dixon
Musical Director: Tyrone Landau
Cast: Angie Goddard, Theresa Hoffmann, Fiona McKinnon, Lizzie Willis,
Oboist: Penelope Carter with Theatre & Performance Practice students from London Metropolitan University
Guest Lutenist: Grace Rumgay

And through involving students at London Metropolitan University the following film was created by James Allen

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