Deborah joining in Dahl celebration

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Actress Deborah Findlay is the narrator of a Music in the Round adaptation of a Roald Dahl short story, Edward the Conqueror.

Deborah Findlay is well known for her appearances on stage and TV, including on the BBC’s Cranford alongside Dame Judi Dench and Imelda Staunton.

She will present the story with rising star pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen. She stands in for Richard Wilson, who is recovering from a recent heart attack.

The performance is part of MitR’s Roald Dahl 100 celebrations on Saturday, which include two sell-out performances of a family concert, Roald Dahl’s Cinderella and Dirty Beasts, in association with Off the Shelf.

This evening reading is primarily for adults and children aged 12 and over. The story appeared in Dahl’s TV series Tales of the Unexpected.

It follows Louisa, who becomes fascinated by a stray cat who joins her one day for her afternoon piano practice.

She discovers that the cat has an extraordinarily refined taste in Romantic piano music and a witty and sometimes acerbic tale unfolds. It is intertwined with piano music by Bach, Chopin, Schumann and Liszt.

MitR artistic director Angus Smith chose the story. He said: “It was slightly bizarre – I was staying in digs in Sheffield and had forgotten to bring a book with me. I pulled a volume of Dahl’s short stories off the shelf and it came open at this page – Edward the Conqueror.

“What struck me as well as the subject matter, and story, which was very darkly humorous, was that the music acts as a kind of key component. The fact that Dahl was so specific about the pieces and the repertoire meant that he must have had a passion for classical music to have known about the repertoire in that much detail.”