Dorothy Parker Takes a Trip & Neil Brand: The Silent Pianist Speaks at Oxford Playhouse

By Sarah Edwards

As part of their American Cool Festival, the Ashmolean Museum is collaborating with Music At Oxford for two unique events at the Oxford Playhouse on Sunday 27 May.

Dorothy Parker Takes a Trip is a musical and dramatic foray by actress and soprano Sarah Gabriel, into the world of writer and poet Dorothy Parker and 20th century America.

Using letters, essays and poems, and with live music and songs by George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart and more, Gabriel brings Parker’s words and world to life in this unique musical afternoon.

In the evening, musician, writer and broadcaster Neil Brand (BBC’s The Film Programme, Sound of Cinema, Music that made the Movies) welcomes you to the world of early cinema. The Silent Pianist Speaks celebrates the great filmmakers of the Silent Era and the magic of the accompanists who breathed life and sound into their work.

From the earliest, earthiest comedies and thrillers, through a silent cine-verité classic shot by a young Billy Wilder, to the glories of Hollywood glamour and the sublime Laurel and Hardy, Neil provides improvised accompaniment and laconic commentary on everything from deep focus to his own live cinema disasters.

These concerts are part of the Ashmolean’s American Cool festival, a month long festival celebrating American art, literature, music, drama and film from 1920s -1940s coinciding with the Ashmolean’s exhibition, America’s Cool Modernism: O’Keefe to Hopper.

Tickets for The Silent Pianist Speaks and Dorothy Parker Takes a Trip start at £10 and are available from the Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online at