Social Media

According To Mary Review

Reviewed by Kathryn

St Matthew’s Church, Northampton hosted the 10th Anniversary Celebration performances of According To Mary the Magdalene on 12th and 13th April.

Composed and played by local musician, Kaye Tompkins, the church was once more packed with audiences supporting the 70 strong choir formed of local singers and six soloists.

First performed at St Matthew’s Church in 2014, over the past decade the piece has toured churches in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and had a performance at The Actor’s Church in Covent Garden, London, returning back to the premiere venue for this special occasion. According To Mary was written as an acknowledgement that men and women all travelled together beside Jesus (healers, teachers and announcers), working together to bring the message of love to the people.

Performed in two parts and lasting 90 minutes, the 25 movements, interpreted with short narrations, display a range of musical styles, vocal stamina and emotions of joy, pain, love and doubt. The choir accept the challenge of soaring vocal parts and fast tempos with ease and grace.

There is not one moment where the audience loose focus as the piece is cleverly created to move swiftly through the story so as not to remove emotion or engagement.

The six soloists, in particular Beth Hodgson portraying Mary and David Russell as Peter, bring 
honest storytelling the piece and all their voices swell and fill the church with strength and beauty.

According To Mary is an emotionally charged, hauntingly beautiful piece and concludes with a message that we could still pass on today as we see our world racked with religious conflict:

“Soft and tender, tell the children all his deeds,
How he came in Peace, with Hope and Joy,
And how he came with Love to save us all.”

Whether you follow the Christian faith or not, this piece speaks to everyone through the honesty of the music and powerful performances given by the choir and soloists.

With standing ovations on both performances, I very much hope this choral work will be shared and enjoyed by many more choirs and audiences for years to come.

Congratulations to Kaye Tompkins on such a wonderful achievement as composer, producer and musician - a masterpiece.

For more information, visit:

To perform the piece, contact The Sharland Organisations Ltd via or phone
01933 626600.

Post a Comment


Theme by STS