Norfolk premier of play about Gustav Mahler at Hansell’s Hostry Festival

Hansells Hostry Festival's main play - Mahler's Conversion.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Hansells Hostry Festival's main play - Mahler's Conversion.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Today will see the Norfolk première of a play which tells the story of 19th century composer and conductor Gustav Mahler,

Hansell's Hostry Festival last night held a dress rehearsal for the production of Mahler's Conversion, by Ronald Harwood, which will be performed at the Hostry at Norwich Cathedral until Saturday.

Mahler was born a Jew but converted to Catholicism to secure the role of director of the court opera in Vienna.

Director Chris Bealey said: 'It is a play about identity, ambition, artistic and personal integrity. It is also about the stifling effect of prejudice on art.'

Stash Kirkbride, festival artistic director, said: 'I first saw Mahler's Conversion in the West End over 15 years ago, starring Antony Sher.


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'I instantly knew I wanted to produce the play one day. Now, all this time later, the Hostry Festival proves to be the perfect project in which to mount a play such as this.

'It isn't instantly commercial, but the storytelling by author Ronald Harwood is so theatrical and moving it works. Couple this together with Mahler's music and you have a platform in which to celebrate not only this legendary composer, but his music as well.'

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According to the festival website, there are limited tickets available for all five performances. See www.hostryfestival.org or call the box office on 01603 598676.

See page 32-33 for the Paint Out Norwich exhibition, which is also part of the festival.

Do you have an arts story? Email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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