Friday 16 June - 7.45pm
Brighton Beam Productions presents
MY FRIEND LESTER
Billie Holiday and saxophonist Lester Young recorded such achingly beautiful music together it was impossible for many to believe that they were not lovers… or were they? This magical and moving play explores their enigmatic relationship through some of their own words and the stunning songs they chose to record together. We follow their journey through jazz from the moment they first met until their untimely deaths.
Friends? Soulmates? Lovers? The answer is in their music…
Directed by Karen Spicer
Written by Maria McAteer
Musical arrangements by Bjorn Dahlberg
Billie Holiday Maria McAteer
Lester Young Bjorn Dahlberg
Piano John Donaldson
Double bass Simon Thorpe
Produced by Brighton Beam Productions
A unique piece of theatre where the songs and music become part of the dialogue between the characters.
Billie Holiday and Lester Young seemed able to communicate their emotions to each other only through their music. Maria McAteer and Swedish saxophonist Bjorn Dahlberg, through live vocals and live saxophone, reproduce these conversations in their own unique ways.
“My Friend Lester” was written by National Westminster Playwright Prize Winner Maria McAteer. Maria, who studied drama at The Poor School London is also the daughter of the jazz saxophonist/composer Al Timothy who played with Sonny Rollins and Thelonius Monk, best known for composing the hit "Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me”
“My father always told me I had jazz in my heart and in my voice but sadly I didn’t really start to explore the world of jazz for myself until after my fathers death… it was only then I found his words were true” Maria McAteer