Laura Mvula interview - Composing the Music for RSC Live: Antony & Cleopatra

"Somewhere between Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain and Prince's Purple Rain" came the inspiration behind the music that British soul singer-songwriter Laura Mvula composed for the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2017 production of Antony & Cleopatra.

The author of two solo albums (Sing to the Moon, 2013, and The Dreaming Room, 2016) and a live album, Laura Mvula won two MOBO Awards (Best Female Artist and Best R&B/Soul Act) and an Urban Music Award (Best Female Act) on her debut. She was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award and three BRIT awards. Born in Birmingham, Laura Mvula shares a birthday with William Shakespeare himself. Antony & Cleopatra is her first score written for the stage. 

We talked to her ahead of the live broadcast of the show this week.

About Antony & Cleopatra

Following Caesar’s assassination, Mark Antony (Antony Byrne) has reached the heights of power. Now he has neglected his empire for a life of decadent seduction with his mistress, Cleopatra (Josette Simon), Queen of Egypt. Torn between love and duty, Antony’s military brilliance deserts him, and his passion leads the lovers to their tragic end. 

Iqbal Khan returns to the RSC to direct, following his critically acclaimed productions of Othello (2015) and Much Ado About Nothing (2012). 

This Antony & Cleopatra is the best I’ve ever seen
— Evening Standard ★★★★
A lavish production – aided by Laura Mvula’s seductive score
— The Daily Mail ★★★★

RSC Live Antony & Cleopatra is broadcast to Curzon Cinemas on Wednesday 24 May - check for times and cinemas and Encore screenings (Bloomsbury | Victoria | Chelsea | Richmond | Wimbledon | Knutsford | Canterbury | Ripon | Sheffield)