Scored for nine upright pianos surrounding the stage, and performed live and from memory by a cast of actor musicians, Summer & Smoke, directed by Rebecca Frecknall, enjoyed a sell-out run at London's Almeida Theatre in early 2018 and transferred to The Duke Of York's Theatre in the West End in November 2018, produced by Sonia Friedman Productions. Starring Patsy Ferran and Matthew Needham.

Press on the Almeida production:

"Angus MacRae's score shimmers like the sultry summer wind, twangs with Alma’s anxiety and clamours with her barely repressed tumult."
The Sunday Times
"The ensemble are often required to hunch down and tickle the ivories – sometimes the odd note, insistently and sadly hammered, at other points a collective onrush of undulating sounds. It’s as if everything musical about the writing, and everything that’s wordless, ineffable, too... has found its ideal companion"
The Telegraph
"The cast play Angus MacRae’s score like a subtext, amplifying unspoken desires and fears"
The Independent
"The actors provide a thrumming live soundtrack that sometimes works up into rippling melodies. The eloquent use of sound and light sculpts the space, drawing us into Alma's inner world: an arena of would-be harmony and jangling discord"

Financial Times


★★★★★ Time Out
★★★★★ The Stage
★★★★★ Metro
★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ What's On Stage

★★★★★ The Times
★★★★★ The Telegraph
★★★★★ The Independent
★★★★★ The Sunday Times
★★★★★ Financial Times
★★★★★ The Observer

Director Rebecca Frecknall
Production Company Almeida Theatre & Sonia Friedman Productions (West End)
Design Tom Scutt
Lighting Lee Curran
Sound Design Carolyn Downing
Starring Patsy Ferran, Matthew Needham
Actor/Musicians Seb Carrington, Forbes Masson, Anjana Vasan, Tok Stephen, Eric MacLennan, Nancy Crane