Scene Unseen, an intimate new cabaret about identity and sexuality now available to watch online

As part of its Made in Northampton season, Royal & Derngate has today released Scene Unseen, an intimate cabaret by Jessica Walker and Joseph Atkins, directed for film by the theatre’s Artistic Director James Dacre with illustrations by award-winning illustrator Thomas Hicks and cinematography by David Lefeber. 

A Royal & Derngate, Northampton and English Touring Opera co-production, Scene Unseen is a cutting-edge new musical about identity, sexuality, and what makes us who we are, available to view online on ETO at Home from 10am today (28 September). 

An hour-long song-cycle weaves a path from cabaret artist Jessica Walker’s emotionally complex childhood right up to her very particular wedding day, with songs about early gender confusion, sexual assault, first love and betrayal, and family secrets. It is a powerful, personal story with universal themes, expressed through Atkins and Walker’s uncategorisable musical mix of humour, classicism, torch, and a touch of Eighties synth. 

Scene Unseen is filmed by David Lefeber, known for his previous filmed collaborations with Harrison Birtwistle, Brian Ferneyhough and George Benjamin. Illustrations and animations are by Tom Hicks, whose numerous credits include music videos for Paul McCartney, Skunk Anansie, Newton Faulkner and Gravenhurst. It is directed by James Dacre, whose recent productions include Blue/Orange, The Pope and the Olivier-nominated Our Lady of Kibeho.

Singer, writer and actor Jessica Walker is known for her genre-defying performances. Her creative partnership with composer and pianist Joseph Atkins includes Songs for Our Times for the Lichfield Festival, Not Such Quiet Girls for Opera North and Leeds Playhouse, and All I Want is One Night for RET and Brits off Broadway, where it was the New York Times critic’s pick. 

Scene Unseen is available to watch online on English Touring Opera’s video platform, ETO at Home from 28 September for three months. Visit for details.


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