Possessed

Possessed

Monday, 11 July 2016

Back at the Hosking House Retreat

So happy to be back at the Hosking House retreat in Stratford-Upon-Avon! The doves are cooing and the wind blowing in the trees in the churchyard and it's another great day to be writing.

Yesterday Sarah Hosking took me for a walk with her dog Daisy to The Heart of England Forest - a new broadleaf forest being planted across south Warwickshire.  It is the legacy of Felix Dennis a remarkable man- a poet, publisher and planter of trees who is giving us back the lost Forest of Arden.


Thursday, 2 June 2016

Watford Palace Theatre announces new British Musical - I Capture the Castle

Watford Palace Theatre announces new British musical - I Capture the Castle



Watford Palace Theatre proudly presents the world premiere musical I Capture the Castle, based on the iconic novel by Dodie Smith, and co-produced with the Octagon Theatre Bolton and Kevin Wallace Limited, in association with Deborah Ward.
Set in the Bohemian England of the 1930s, Dodie Smith’s worldwide bestselling classic is a warm and sharply funny coming-of-age story.  The script by Teresa Howard (Grock (Chichester Festival Theatre) and Possessed (a new musical play with Steven Edis)) tells the story through the eyes of seventeen year old narrator Cassandra, opening with the famous line:
‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink..’
The original music by composer Steven Edis (The Silver Sword Belgrade Theatre Coventry,Oklahoma, Royal and Derngate, Volpone RSC) has influences of swing, tango, beguine, English folksong and a hint of Cole Porter.
Artistic Director of Watford Palace Theatre Brigid Larmour (Jefferson’s Garden by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Coming Up by Neil d’Souza, Love Me Do by Marks and Gran) brings her trademark blend of emotional storytelling and physical theatre to this exciting new British musical.
Cassandra is writing a diary about her eccentric family: her irritating elder sister Rose; her unconventional stepmother Topaz; her orphaned admirer Stephen; and her novelist father James, who hasn’t written a word in years.   They are behind with the rent for the tumbledown castle that seemed so romantic when they moved in. The roof is leaking, it never stops raining and the family is surviving on oatcakes and eggs. 
But the new landlord is a wealthy young American, with an attractive younger brother, and spring is in the air.  Perhaps things are about to change.
Brigid Larmour, Artistic Director of Watford Palace Theatre, said today:
‘There is something magical about Dodie Smith’s story about finding your way into adulthood.  Steven and Teresa have written a fresh, passionate adaptation, and it is exciting to be reimagining this extraordinary book as a piece of contemporary music theatre.’
I Capture the Castle opens on Wednesday 5 April until Saturday 22 April, with previews from Friday 31 March.
The production will go on general sale at Watford Palace Theatre from Wednesday 18 May.
I Capture the Castle is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Watford Palace Theatre, Octagon Theatre Bolton and Kevin Wallace Limited in association with Deborah Ward present
I Capture the Castle 
A new British musical based on the novel by Dodie Smith
Book & Lyrics by Teresa HowardMusic by Steven Edis
Director: Brigid Larmour
Watford Palace TheatreFriday 31 March - Saturday 22 April 2017

[Photo : Richard Lakos Photography]

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

PUTTING IT TOGETHER: A Very Hot Pie Indeed!

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.



puttingittogethermusicalblog.com

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

#BEAM16

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.