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

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Election Night at the BML Librettists Workshop

On May 6th, while the votes were piling in, I was at the Actors Centre in Covent Garden presenting my three page scene for the BML Librettists Workshop. The scene was the latest assignment, and one which I had broached with some trepidation. It was going to be my first piece of dialogue to be shown to the group and I really wanted it to be good. I did not feel I wanted to present something from the new show and so I spent a lot of time trying to decide what I was going to do.

The new show is an adaptation and so I thought I could use another book to adapt into a musical scene. I chose Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters. It seemed to be absolutely perfect material for a musical adaptation with the music hall scenes, the powerful relationships, longing and big fabulous characters.

I chose the scene in the book where Nancy first sees Kitty performing her act on stage as a "Masher" (male impersonator). This was a scene of transformation, so sensitive and beautiful that it was made for the stage. I visualised it musically as a mixture of music hall singing from Kitty and a song from the heart from Nancy. I didn't write Nancy's song, but wrote her internal monologue but allowed the listeners to know that this could be translated into a song.

Once I had written it I knew I had to find out whether the rights in the book were available. I am waiting to hear about that. For although I am totally caught up with the new show, this would be a wonderful project for the future. I am waiting and hoping.

The reading seemed to go pretty well and the response was so interesting, and sparked off a lot of fascinating conversation. Everyone thought that it was definitely a good subject for a musical. Over drinks later at the Phoenix Club I felt such a sense of relief that I had got through the trial by fire, and managed somehow to pull it off. I arrived home and switched on the TV to discover that the country was in turmoil over the election results. None of the parties had got what they wanted but maybe something new and interesting will come out of it all.

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