OAE: The Night Shift, The Hatchet Inn

Violin at The Night Shift | Photo: promotional/OAE

Tuesday evening was one of those impenetrably dark, wind-and-rain affairs that takes strong will power to step out into. Nevertheless, I did step out. And I tumbled down the hill to the oldest pub in Bristol, The Hatchet Inn, which has been licensed to serve alcohol since 1606.

The pub's age made it rather appropriate for the staging of chamber music in an informal atmosphere. As part of The Night Shift, a project that aims to bring classical music to new audiences and break down formalities and pre-conceptions of the concert hall tradition, members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment gave us a 'set list' full of Haydn string quartet movements, as well as the treat of a beautiful new work by composer Satoko Doi-Luck.

The project has gathered a strong following in London and is now branching out to different locations across the country.

It was nice to be able to sit back, slouch slightly in our chairs, occasionally fidget and clink our glasses against heavy wooden table tops as Haydn's complex fugues and rich harmonies reached our ears. The OAE is certainly achieving a wonderfully informal and much more interactive atmosphere with their Night Shift concerts, even if the audience didn't stray that far from the usual concert hall crowd on the Bristol leg of the tour. A very pleasant evening.

Members of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment play The Night Shift | Photo: Joe Plommer

The Night Shift Pub Tour: The story so far from OAE on Vimeo.

Visit: oae.co.uk/thenightshift •V


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