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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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New musical celebrates life of Agrippa the Roman commander

A new musical work by folk legend Maddy Prior is to be premiered next month.

Agrippa musical photo
Maddy Prior and Frank Lee at the Senhouse Roman Museum

Commissioned by the Hadrian’s Wall Trust, the show will celebrate the life of Marcus Agrippa, the first commander of the Roman fort in Maryport and a member of an important Italian family connected to Emperor Hadrian.

Maddy Prior, former member of the folk-rock band Steeleye Span and the Carnival Band, is promising an entertaining and fun-filled exploration of the music of Hadrian’s Wall brought to the country by the different units stationed along it.

Hadrian’s Wall Trust director, Nigel Mills, said the show was a musical journey across the frontiers of the Roman empire – travelling from the Danube to Maryport – reflecting the many people who lived around Hadrian’s Wall in Roman times.

Maddy Prior said: “We’ve brought together a group of international musicians, singers and dancers to work on the project, interchanging their musical ideas and styles.

“Musicians have always borrowed from any source available and it was certainly as true in Roman times as it is now.

“Agrippa is a treat of a musical mix, exciting and thought-provoking.

“We have English and Bulgarian singers joining together in both traditions, Galician piping with English accordion and Bulgarian flute and clog dancing in rare Bulgarian rhythms.”

The premiere is part of a major campaign to promote the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site in Cumbria supported by the Defra Rural Development Programme for England.

  • The show will premiere at the Wave Centre in Maryport on May 2 and then be taken to the Stepping Stones Festival in Brampton, which runs from May 3 to 5. Tickets for the premiere of Agrippa are available at The Wave Centre in Maryport on www.thewavemaryport.co.uk or phone 01900 811450.

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