The Glass Piano transports audiences to a 19th-century Bavarian palace to find four characters trapped by their situations, and prevented from fulfilling their dreams of love. Who was the real princess whose eccentricities inspired Alix Sobler’s new play? Gen up – and check out our series of sumptuous character portraits below. Time to get booking!
The Glass Piano, written by award-winning playwright Alix Sobler and directed by Olivier-nominated Max Key, runs at the Print Room at the Coronet, in Notting Hill, west London, from 26 April to 25 May 2019, with a press night on 30 April and a post-show Q&A chaired by Mates co-founder Terri Paddock on Wednesday 8 May.
As Alexandra tiptoes carefully through the palace corridors, turning sideways to pass through doorways, terrified that at the slightest disturbance the piano would shatter inside her, her father, King Ludwig I, can do nothing to help – until a young man comes to the palace.
Princess Alexandra is played by Stage Debut Award winner Grace Molony (The Country Girls, The Watsons, Lady Windermere’s Fan). She’s joined in the cast by Timothy Walker as Ludwig, Olivier Award winner Suzan Sylvester as nurse Galestina and Laurence Ubong Williams as Lucien. The Glass Piano, directed by Max Key, features music composed by Gabriel Prokofiev, the grandson of Sergei Prokofiev, which will be played onstage by pianist Elizabeth Rossiter.
The Glass Piano runs from 26 April to 25 May 2019 at the Print Room at the Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3LB, with performances Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £20-£30. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
The real Princess Alexandra
Princess Alexandra Amalie of Bavaria (1826-1875) was a member of the House of Wittelsbach, the eighth child and fifth daughter of Ludwig I of Bavaria and his wife Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Though a renowned beauty, her portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler hung as part of the “Gallery of Beauties”, Alexandra never married. Her father rejected the proposal from divorcé Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte in the 1850s, blaming his daughter’s fragile health.
Eventually appointed abbess of a religious community for noble women, Alexandra devoted herself to literature, publishing several books of short stories, essays and translations. In addition to her glass delusion, believing that she had swallowed the grand piano made of glass as a child and that it remained inside her, Alexandra also exhibited a fixation for cleanliness and insisted on wearing white clothes only. She died at the age of 49 on the same day as her brother Prince Albert, on 21 September 1875.
In The Glass Piano, Grace Molony stars as Princess Alexandra. Photography by Hugo Glendinning.
Don’t miss Mate Terri Paddock‘s discussion with the company, after the performance on Wednesday 8 May 2019.