'A pure, bright mezzo-soprano of such melting beauty, I think I could listen to it forever' New York Times
'Her luminous, androgynous appeal' The Stage
'The vocalist is mezzo Jessica Walker, a slinky, flame-haired androgyne in tux and boots, looking as if she might have strayed from some Weimar Republic dive' The Guardian
'Superbly sung by the pure-voiced English Mezzo Jess Walker' The Times
'A spell-binding cabaret show at the 59E59 Theaters written by and starring the gifted singer Jessica Walker…Ms Walker's resplendent mezzo-soprano brings a bright lustre to the dozen or so songs in the show' New York Times
The video above is a taster of the new project, Scene Unseen, I'm working on with composer-pianist Joseph Atkins. We recorded the excerpt recently for Stapleford Gallery, and have now completed the whole piece, which we are filming soon, with director James Dacre, and film maker David Lefeber.
Watch this space for release details.
As the world of live music begins to open up, my new project with composer
Luke Styles, The People's Cabaret, is slated for festival performances at Brighton, Norwich and Norfolk and O. Festival Rotterdam. Fingers crossed!
Here are the details: brightonfestival.org/whats-on/the-peoples-cabaret-1091/, nnfestival.org.uk/whats-on/the-peoples-cabaret/
In July I'm artist in residence at Lichfield Festival, with a series of events, both new and slightly used. In collaboration with Joseph Atkins, we will perform Songs for our Times live for the first time, a concert of songs drawn from the 1920s, and a new piece called Dead Funny Women, looking at the lives and music of some very talented performers.
On the 2nd July 2020, Joe Atkins and I went into an empty Blackheath Halls and filmed a concert for Lichfield Festival, with film-maker Leon Lopez. The resulting film, Songs for our Times, is an outpouring of some of the complex emotions elicited by our current crisis, with original material by me and Joe, combined with songs by Brel and Barbara. It's available to view here, on the Lichfield Festival YouTube channel: youtu.be/0JwkHL-v5Kk.
I began 2020 performing in Alone in Berlin, a new play by Alistair Beaton, adapted from the novel by Hans Fallada. Produced by the Royal and Derngate theatre, it was directed by James Dacre, with new songs by Orlando Gough. The tour ended prematurely due to the Covid 19 crisis. All work for later in the year has been postponed to 2021, including a new commission (Dead) Funny Women, for the Lichfield Festival, and Cabaret Macabre, written with Joe Atkins for the British Youth Music Theatre.
In 2019 I performed the role of Miss Prism in Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest for Neue Oper Fribourg, in Switzerland and Paris, the role of Hildy in Bernstein's On the Town, for Antony McDonald's new production in Tokyo and Hyogo, Japan.
2019 also saw the initial workshops at ROH for my new piece Fake or Stake, with composer Cevanne Horrocks Hopayian.
In November 2018, Not Such Quiet Girls, my new play commissioned by Opera North and Leeds Playhouse, went into production. In commemoration of the WW1 Armistice, it told the forgotten stories of female ambulance drivers behind the front line in Belgium and France. The Opera magazine review called it 'A thoroughly satisfying - and revelatory - evening.' It was directed by Jacqui Honess-Martin, with musical arrangements by Joseph Atkins. You can hear me talking about the show with Jane Garvey on Woman's Hour here, about 35 minutes in.
My play All I Want is One Night, originally produced by the Royal Exchange Theatre, with further runs at Wilton's Music Hall and the Hope Mill Theatre, played a month long run at the Brits off Broadway festival in June 2018, and earned critic's pick in the New York Times:
'Delightful...The numbers are so good, in fact, that you wish there were more than the eight'. New York Times
Other praise for the New York run included:
'It's the kind of rarefied experience you only get these days in New York after dark.' New York Observer
'It's a beautiful performance that changes to heartbreaking as Solidor ages without grace.' Woman Around Town
'Jessica Walker is an exceptional, multi-talented woman in her own right, as a playwright, translator, actress and singer. Not only has she brought Solidor to our overdue attention by penning All I Want Is One Night...but in doing so, she personally translated Solidor's songs from French to English and now is starring, as actress and singer, in this production...Walker is superb.' A Seat on the Aisle
'On any level treading the edge of sexuality is risky and sexy. You'd think in 2018, nothing would be particularly unusual or shocking. The thrill of Jessica Walker's All I Want Is One Night is that she creates as a performer and playwright a world in which danger and glamour and delusion and talent are mixed altogether with commerce. And in that world circling like a haunted muse-she gives us a glimmer of Suzy Solidor'. Theatre Pizzazz