Thursday, 4 February 2016

PUTTING IT TOGETHER: Possessed Opens Tonight!

PUTTING IT TOGETHER: Possessed Opens Tonight!: Grace Roberts as Jane Morris So looking forward to the opening of Possessed at Camden Peoples Theatre tonight!

Possessed Opens Tonight!

Grace Roberts as Jane Morris
So looking forward to the opening of Possessed at Camden Peoples Theatre tonight! 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Possessed opens on Thursday!

Today the technical crew moved into the Camden Peoples Theatre and tomorrow I will sit in on the first tech and dress rehearsal.

The cast and creatives have worked so hard over the last few weeks bringing the show to life. It's been wonderful to have felt part of it.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Possessed Opens Next Week

Grace Roberts as Jane Morris

The UCL students who are appearing in Possessed are from the award winning Musical Theatre Society at the University. 
Charlie Smith as Gabriel and Heather Barnish as Lizzie
With such a young cast we decided that we would cut out the two little Morris girls from the show and so now it is a cast of six.  
Topsy (William Morris) Simon Whitaker
 I spent the whole of last weekend with the company, rehearsing our darkly gothic show, with skilled direction from Madeleine Edis and movement director Ross Tomlinson.  They are such a dedicated and talented cast and company!

Bessy is played by Miranda Evans

Friday, 15 January 2016

Possessed Production at the Camden People's Theatre

Really excited to announce that there will be a production of Possessed at the Camden People's Theatre opening on 4th February.  It is being produced by the UCLU Musical Theatre Society and directed by Madeleine Edis.

The link to the theatre to buy tickets is HERE

More information about the show and the story behind it can be found on our website HERE

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Hackney Empire Workshop

Tomorrow I have a workshop of a new show at Hackney Empire.  We have got together a wonderful group of actors and Neil McArthur is going to be the MD.  This is going to be another week of exploration finding out whether songs and scenes and structure work.  I can't wait to hear the actors sing these songs at last and speak the words that have only been living in my head!


Sunday, 23 August 2015

I Capture the Castle Workshop at the RNT Studio

This week Steve Edis and I have a workshop of our musical adaptation of I Capture the Castle at the Royal National Theatre Studio directed by Brigid Larmour with associate director Shona Morris and musical supervisor Catherine Jayes.  We will have fabulous actors drawn from three shows on at the National: Three Days in the Country, Warhorse and the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. It will be wonderful to be working on the show again and be back at the studio where our very first musical workshop took place

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Blackamoores by Onyeka

Last weekend I went up to Stratford to see the work two of my collaborators had been doing over the past few months.  Steve Edis had composed the music for Trevor Nunn's wonderful and hilarious new production of Volpone and Brian Protheroe was playing Brabantio in the ground breaking Othello with Lucian Msamati's black Iago,  also Brian gave us a stupendous Aragon in The Merchant of Venice.

I was lucky enough to go to a debate at the theatre about whether Othello is a racist play. The much adored Hugh Quarshie, who plays Othello was on the panel, along with Lucian Msamati, academic Onyeka Nubia and Celia R. Caputi.

Onyeka let us into some of his store of secrets, uncovered after 23 years of research into the black inhabitants of Britain during Tudor times. To order your own signed copy of his book go to the website here:  Blackamoores

One of the most interesting things that came out of the discussion was that during Tudor times black people were not thought of as a race, the Tudors thought that dark coloured skin was only because of the sun.  Shakespeare would not have thought of Othello in the way we do now because for him there had been no slavery, no Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King. It was such a curious thought and now I wish I could see the play again just to see how I felt about it knowing that.

Casting for the National Theatre Studio

RNT Studio

Sitting at a beachfront table at Meltemi Cafe on the tiny island of Patmos, in Greece, I found myself glued to my laptop hungry for moments of wifi so I could access the internet.  I was collaborating on casting for a workshop of I Capture the Castle at the National Theatre, and the heat was on.  This is the musical that Steve Edis and I wrote, based on Dodie Smith's wonderful novel about first love and the power of inspiration.

Sometimes it doesn't matter that you have to work when you're on holiday, not when there's such an exciting event coming up in a few weeks!!

Five of us collaborated over the casting and now I'm waiting to see what happens and who these absolutely new interpreters of the show will be.  

This is going to be a time of exploration, showing Brigid Larmour our Director and Shona Morris the movement director the new songs Steve and I have written and trying out a new version of the show I worked on at the Hosking Houses Trust Retreat a while back.  The two directors work really well together, producing incredibly exciting work at Watford Palace Theatre.  The most recent show they collaborated on was Timberlake Wertenbaker's new play Jefferson's Garden.

When I walk into the studio in on 24th August I will remember sitting under the palms on that beach on Patmos!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Tiny Shows - Big Gestures

Big Gestures for Tiny Shows with Jennifer Toksvig

Over the Weekend of the 13th and 14th June I worked on an immersive Tiny Show Project with The Copenhagen Interpretation and Women Who Write Musicals.  It was led by the creative genius that is known as Jennifer Toksvig.  Above you can see her explaining.  She had to do quite a bit of explaining  about the process at the beginning but once we all got it we flew with it into the world of immersive theatre, creating Tiny Shows on the theme of Cinderella, for an audience on the Sunday afternoon.  The pressure was on but some beautiful tiny moments of theatre emerged from it.

When we arrived on Saturday morning we had no idea what any of this was really about.  When I left on Tuesday evening I had written two songs and found a new writing partner!

One of my favourite photos of the weekend, Composers Olly Weeks and Sayan Kent
Opera singer Belinda Evans and Olly Weeks performing our number Perfect Girl
about the guy who wants to be a Fairy Godmother!

Here you can see some of the ideas for shows under the titles of Tension and Transformation!