Tuesday, 12 April 2016


PUTTING IT TOGETHER: A Very Hot Pie Indeed!: Stuart Pendred as Sweeney Todd  - photo: Jamie Scott Vivo D'Arte never cease to amaze me with their brilliant productions, but this...

A Very Hot Pie Indeed!

Stuart Pendred as Sweeney Todd  - photo: Jamie Scott
Vivo D'Arte never cease to amaze me with their brilliant productions, but this immersive, promenade production of Sweeney Todd, at Frogmore Paper Mill in Apsley, has really raised the bar. The story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street who slits the throats of his customers to fill the pies sold in Mrs Lovett's shop was brought to life in an incredibly atmospheric setting. Admittedly, it was rather cold, but it all added to the ambience, and we did get excellent hot pies to warm our hands in the interval - I think mine was "poet"!
Lucy Peacock as Mrs Lovett    photo - Jamie Scott
I love Sondheim's Sweeney, and everyone tries to bring it to life in their own special way.  But for Vivo D'Arte to have taken over Frogmore Paper Mill and built sets into that crumbling, dusty, industrial warehouse, slotted the band into a gap in an old wall and piped music though to all the performance areas, built balconies and rails, hung TV screens so the actors could see the vibrant MD Erika Gundesen doing her stuff, and created a world for the audience to be lead through and amazed - I really have to applaud everyone involved. Jeff Stewart pulled off a remarkable feat for his directorial debut. Absolutely incredible!

Anna Sideris as Joanna   Photo - Jamie Scott
James Penniston as Anthony  photo - Jamie Scott
It was so exciting to feel you were in the middle of the action of a Sweeney street scene, nudged and chatted to by hawkers, prostitutes and members of the asylum.  As the show opened a coffin was laid at my feet and Stuart Pendred rose up before me- a powerful, formidable, tortured Sweeney, his pain was palpable throughout as he led us on his horrific journey. Lucy Peacock, his hilarious Mrs Lovett had the audience in the palm of her hand from the moment she started whacking her rolling pin down on the pastry, and we utterly believed how much she loved Sweeney, in her strange twisted way. In complete contrast Anna Sideris gave us a pure and tender Joanna, I was completely captivated by this young actress and her lovelorn Antony, flawlessly played by James Penniston, they swept me away with their youthful passion and glorious voices.
Other standout performances were Alfie Glasser, who tore my heart out as little Toby, Christine Byrne as the fierce and agonising Beggar Woman, Andrew McGowan as the stupendous Pirelli, Luca Hlaing as the Beadle, Stephen Davis as Judge Turpin, Freddie Clarke as Jonas Fogg and little Melissa Stewart's exceptional performance as the young Joanna.

We were led around by members of the fabulous ensemble, a giddy audience revelling in this dark and passionate story. Vivo D'Arte pulled off a truly innovative and thrilling production of Sweeney Todd and everyone who saw it will be talking about it for years to come.

To find out more about the wondrous Vivo D'Arte please contact them through their website Here

Frogmore Paper Mill, Apsley, Hertfordshire

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Arts Council Logo

Steven Edis and I received a wonderful Arts Council Lottery Grant, through our company Kelmscott Productions, for a very special production which opens at Watford Palace Theatre next Spring. Today I have been trying to get to grips with logos, re-sizing, publicity, credits, domain names, changes to blog domains and auctioning domains.  Tomorrow I will get back to finishing that song!

But very proud to be able to display this logo.


I am changing the domain name of this blog to puttingittogethermusicalblog.com

Hopefully everything will all be exactly the same but the domain name will be more relevant to the content and not confused with the website for Steve's and my musical Possessed.

Thursday, 10 March 2016


There has been a tremendous buzz in the Musical Theatre world in the UK, generated by a two day event at The Park Theatre, London, called BEAM16, mounted by Musical Theatre Network and Mercury Musical Developments. It was dubbed, by writer Dougal Irvine, as a sort of musical theatre version of Cannes.

I am so proud to have been a part of the initial stages of this as a Board Member of MMD and as a supporter of writer friends over the last two days. MMD and MTN created an event to be proud of, loads of fantastic work, networking, deals made, laughter and drinking. From where I'm standing the UK Musical Theatre world looks like one of the most most exciting areas of theatre to be in at the moment, there are no boundaries, no rules and the possibilities are endless.  We are starting to value ourselves as British writers of the genre at last and are hoping to develop new audiences and new connections. Exciting times!

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