classical music
contemporary classical

Wolf Hall Live

Part of Classical Season 2018/19

Hear the stunning score to the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novel performed live, with narration from Anton Lesser.

Man Booker Prize-winning novel Wolf Hall was transformed into a riveting six-part drama by the BBC to huge acclaim in 2015. The machinations and hushed conversations of Thomas Cromwell in shadowy palace corners were accompanied by an original music score by Debbie Wiseman, performed by members of The Locrian Ensemble of London. The soundtrack CD reached number one in the classical charts.

At this concert, Wiseman and the Ensemble perform from her acclaimed score. Alongside the music, we hear extracts from Wolf Hall and its first sequel Bring Up the Bodies read by Anton Lesser, who was nominated for a BAFTA Award for his role as Thomas More in the BBC series.

Wiseman has over 200 film and television soundtracks to her name, including Wilde, Wolf Hall, Father Brown, Edie and Dickensian.

With some of the country's finest musicians, the Locrian Ensemble is at the very top of its game, delivering stunning performances which range from the blisteringly dramatic to the heartrendingly mournful.

The concert roughly follows the narrative of the television series, with Lesser's readings setting the scene for a musical commentary. The most intense segment must surely be the depiction of Anne Boleyn's execution, as the impassioned readings leave the audience hanging on every word, with music that is gripping and moving in equal parts.

The expectation is high for the final part of the trilogy – hopefully audiences will not have too long to wait before this absorbing and beautifully realised production is on screen again.


The Locrian Ensemble of London
Debbie Wiseman conductor, piano
Perry Montague-Mason violin
Charlie Brown violin
Philip Dukes viola
Justin Pearson cello
Chris Laurence double bass
Philip Harmer oboe, cor anglais
Anton Lesser narrator


Debbie Wiseman: Wolf Hall - music for the television series

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Purcell Room


£25 - £35
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)
£25, £35


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Related events
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall at 6pm: pre-concert talk. Join composer Debbie Wiseman OBE, actor Anton Lesser (Thomas More) and director of Wolf Hall Peter Kosminsky to discuss the making of the series. Hosted by Michael Beek, Reviews Editor, BBC Music Magazine. Admission free for ticket holders.