Façade and Eight Songs For A Mad King

Eight Songs For A Mad King by Helios Collective 2014

Brilliantly located…a highly imaginative and affecting double-bill.

  • 5 StarsFringe Opera
  • 5 StarsOpera Now
  • 5 StarsThe Arts Desk
  • 5 StarsUK Theatre Network

A highly imaginative and affecting double-bill. Brilliantly located in a hospital for recovering World War One soldiers…faultless in delivery and dramatic emotion.
– Opera Now

“Experience madness, mayhem, and mischief in an unusual operatic pairing that will take you on a journey into the heart of twentieth-century musical innovation. Set in the fictional Esapbury Hospital – where the physical and mental wounds suffered by shell-shocked World War One soldiers are treated by a team of medical staff – Façade takes us into a bizarre, yet often humorous, world in which the protagonists imaginatively disguise their wartime stresses through metaphor and self-conscious performance. Eight Songs For A Mad King explores the internal torture of an officer so traumatised by his front-line experiences that he has assumed a separate identity, that of the Mad King, George III. The two works examine the vacillating state of human psychology, while also exploring what it means to be truly mad.”

Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King was frankly stunning. This was music theatre which was vividly alive.
– Planet Hugill

Performance Dates

  • Grimeborn Opera Festival, Arcola Theatre, London
    5, 6, & 7 September 2014


  • Rose Theatre Kingston, with talk by Peter Maxwell Davies
    10 September 2014

  • Sound Waves Festival, St Petersburg Philharmonia, Russia
    16 November 2014

Director Ella Marchment in conversation with Helios Collective’s very own Mad King, Sam Pantcheff.