I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle
I Capture the Castle based on the novel by Dodie Smith Book and lyrics Teresa Howard music Steven Edis

Friday, 23 April 2010

Conor Mitchell and the Art of Lyrics

Tonight I am off to an MMD Masterclass to hear all about Connor Mitchell's advice on lyric writing. With my new song hot off the laptop it will be interesting to hear what he thinks about this strange and ancient craft.

Conor Mitchell is a musical dramatist from Co.Armagh, Ireland. His musical plays include THE DUMMY TREE (NT Connections), THE YOUNG PORNOGRAPHER'S WIFE, THE MUSICIAN, MERRY CHRISTMAS BETTY FORD, DIARY OF A MADMAN, TODD, LETTERS TO AN ABSENT OTHER and MATHILDE. As composer/lyricist: HAVE A NICE LIFE (Best Score, New York Musical Theatre Festival, 2006), MISSING MEL. As composer: GOBLIN MARKET, PESACH, the award-winning film opera PRETTY FACE and over 40 other theatre scores. He written for the Ulster Youth Orchestra, been writer on attachment to the National Theatre Studio, writer in residence at LAMDA, music advisor to Youth Music Theatre: UK and winner of the Arts Foundation Fellowship for musical theatre composition. He is under commission from Ransom Theatre Co., Library Theatre Manchester, LAMDA, University of Gotenberg, Nice People Theatre Co. Philadelphia and Cahoots NI at present. He is also writing a one man show, CYCLE OF TRIFLES for Nigel Richards.

New Song

I've been working on a song for the new show. It has had to sit on the back burner for about a month while I have been doing other things, but I've never stopped thinking about it and jotting things down. After doing a new version of the book it suddenly all seemed much clearer where it was going. In the end it only took two days to write. I finished it yesterday and sent it off to Steve, who really liked it. The musical is an adaptation, but the sex of one of the characters has been changed, and this song is for him. Suddenly, with his own song, he has become a far more rounded character and I am looking forward to writing the reprise of this song later in the show.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Jerwood Opera Writing Programme

I posted off my application to the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme at Aldeburgh. In 2007, Aldeburgh Music and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation launched the Programme, designed for composers, writers and directors who want to widen their horizons and equip themselves to create contemporary work combining music, theatre and text. It is led by Giorgio Battistelli, along with other teachers including: Harrison Birtwistle, Alison Chitty, Lavinia Greenlaw, Stephen Plaice, and Stephen Langridge, and culminates in mini music theatre works created by the participants.

I think it would be a very exciting experience, and so am really hoping they accept me.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

July at the Royal Academy of Music

Karen Rabinowitz, Head of the Post Graduate Musical Theatre Degree at the Royal Academy of Music, is going to be directing a workshop week of our new show in July at the Academy. The dates have now been confirmed and so we have a new deadline to work towards. We are hoping to use as many of the Post Grads who worked with us in January as we can. It is wonderful for the Academy to be supporting us in this way, and so fortunate to be working with Karen and the musical theatre stars of tomorrow. This will be a period of development, working on the the libretto and weaving a few more songs into the book. This is particularly important for the comedy element of the new show, to find out whether things work and try out new stuff. We are both very excited about it!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Matthew White's Sweet Charity

Sweet Charity is transferring from the Meniere Chocolate Factory to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. It is directed by Matthew White, who played the part of Topsy (William Morris) in the Oxford performance of our musical play POSSESSED. Matthew also directed the award winning version of Little Shop of Horrors, starring Legally Blonde - Sheridan Smith.

Sondheim Competition

Our song HOLD STILL from POSSESSED has been shortlisted for the Steven Sondheim Performer of the Year competition. We are now waiting to hear whether it has been selected as a finalist.

This competition, which is organised by the Sondheim Society, will take place in front of a public audience and a professional judging panel at the Queens Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, on Sun 6 June 2010. Students from the principal music colleges will be invited to enter the competition and will perform two songs each - one by Stephen Sondheim and one by a new musical writer.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


The USA dialogue session with Paris, for the new show, was really constructive. Three of the characters are American, but they are all very different characters with different accents. We managed to go through all the dialogue in a very intense and immensely fun and rewarding session. Paris made really useful and interesting suggestions for changes, based not only on his knowledge of the vernacular but also his acting experience, which, for me as a writer, was absolutely wonderful.