Our new show - I CAPTURE THE CASTLE - is based on the book by Dodie Smith, author of 101 Dalmatians. There was a film made of the book in 2003, directed by Tim Fywell with Romola Garai as Cassandra and Bill Nighy as her eccentric father James.
We had a reading of the first draft of the libretto in June 2009 with a cast including some wonderful young actors from RADA and Arts Ed. The cast were: Paris Arrowsmith, Amanda Carlton, Mark Edel-Hunt, Frances Knox, Lottie Latham, Antony Mason, Alice Rowell and Richard Southgate - who was hot foot from the closing of Spring Awakening. The reading went really well and it was exciting to realise that this show has a lot of humour!
We then started writing the songs and got a date for some workshops at the Royal Academy of Music in January 2010 through Mercury Musical Development. We decided that because the novel is set in 1934 there would be a 1930's feel to all the music and songs - with tango, beguine, swing and a hint of Cole Porter.
The Royal Academy of Music workshops were with students from the Post Graduate Musical Theatre degree: Phillipa Cookman, Suzanna Kempner, Matthew Johnson, Paul Allison, Terri O'Ryan, Ross Barnes, Tom Little, Becky Moult, Alex Young and Stephen Sutherland. It was an exciting few days and Steve and I managed to write an new opening song, which I heard sung for the first time by Suzanna Kempner - who played Cassandra.
After the workshop we recorded the first three songs of the show at Lynwood Studios with Suzanna Kempner and Peter Polycapou.
After the RAM workshops went so well we were asked back to do more workshops on the show in July and the course leader Karen Rabinowitz offered to direct. We are doing a private reading of I Capture the Castle at the Royal Academy for producers on 11th July.