King Lear will play at St George’s Bristol from 4-5 May. You can book tickets here. Student tickets available at £10.

This is the first time we have played at St. George’s and we are very excited to visit this special venue. Read on to learn more about it.

The venue 

St George’s has been a concert hall for the past 30 years. It was built by Robert Smirke who also built London’s first Greek Doric building; the new opera house at Covent Garden (1810).  He also designed the main block and facade of the British Museum.

It was built between 1821 and 1823 and was Bristol’s’ first building in the Greek Revival style. The economically minded Commissioners used the same design again for St James in Hackney, paying Smirke half the usual fee.

1976, the church faced redundancy. It was rescued by a group of local music enthusiasts, who saw its potential as a centre for fine music, and St George’s Music Trust was born.

The BBC produced many concert series and studio recordings in the building.

A significant part of the re-development in 1999  was to re-interpret the churchyard in terms of the new function of the building, as a place for music. The Scottish poet-sculptor Ian Hamilton-Finlay was commissioned to fulfill this brief, and over the next 3 years he installed a variety of works in the grounds, including benches, plaques and posts made of Caithness stone, all inscribed with quotations from Virgil’s Eclogues, Janacek’s Letters to Kamila and Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

We think the quote on the wall plaque is quite apt for our visit:

Wall plaque designed by Ian Hamilton Finlay © St Georges Bristol 2012

Wall plaque designed by Ian Hamilton Finlay © St Georges Bristol 2012








The plaque reads:

On the path I’d plant oaks which would endure for centuries
And into their trunks I’d carve the words I shouted in the air
(Janacek, letters)

If you were going to add a Shakespeare quote to one of the sculptures what would you chose and why? Tell us in the comments below.



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