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

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Jack and the Beanstalk at the Palace, Watford



A very lovingly created Jack and the Beanstalk opened at Watford Palace Theatre last night.  It was written by Andrew Pollard - actor and writer, directed by Kate Saxon, MD Paul Herbert, arranged by Dominic Haslam, Choreographed by Karen Edwards and designed by Cleo Pettitt.

The usual farm story of the Beanstalk tale had been transferred to a fun fair, making it more contemporary and also giving the chance for Cleo Pettitt's designs to entrance us all in a riot of colour and imaginative brilliance.

I loved the show, especially the Queen Bohemian Rhapsody scene, which had excellent alternative lyrics!

Fantastic singing and dancing from the cast!  Poor Jack (Josh Capper) had broken his leg and had to do the whole show on crutches; although it meant that a lot of the business had to change, it also added to the hilarity and he carried it off magnificantly.  Terence Frisch was an absolutely brilliant dame - off stage in the green room bar it was almost impossible to recognise him without the lashings of lippy and high heeled red boots.  Nadine Higgin was a lovely feisty Jill and we all spent a lot of time booing and hissing Ben Watson who played the Giants dastardly side kick Nightshade.  It's all there, the slapstick scene, the audience sing off, the hissing and booing and he's behind you - the audience rode the roller coaster and laughed and screamed and loved it all!

The show runs until 31st December.  To book tickets there is a link to the Watford Box Office HERE 

Writers Guild Encouragement Award Lunch at the Royal Court

The encouraged and encouragers standing on the steps of the Royal Court
Last Friday I went to the Writers Guild Encouragement Award lunch at the Royal Court.  These awards are the brainchild of Mark Ravenhill, and were set up by the Guild to give members the opportunity to publicly thank people who have encouraged their work over the year.

I had nominated David James and the BML (Book Music and Lyrics) Workshop, for nurturing new musical theatre writers and he had won the award.  Tim Sutton - composer/lyricist and facilitator at BML also came along to the lunch, David Thacker- Artistic Director of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton (standing in for Elizabeth Newman), theatre critic Mark Shenton, Amanda Whittington- the Chair of the Theatre Committee and other members of the Guild.  As well as David James, the other people who won the award were Cathy Magee from Dyslexia Scotland- nominated by Lowri Potts; Elizabeth Newman from the Ocatagon Theatre Bolton- nominated by Aelish Michael; Natalie Wilson and the Theatre Centre- nominated by Susan Hodgetts; Paul Milton from the Everyman Writers' Lab, Cheltenham- nominated by Miranda Walker.

David James was also awarded a prestigious Writers' Guild gold pin for his long and dedicated service to the Guild as the Chairman of the Theatre Committee.

There was much quaffing of wine, animated talk and consumption of excellent food in the Royal Court dining room during the afternoon.  The speeches about how people came to be nominated were fascinating stories of writer support, that sometimes popped up in the most surprising places - like the Scottish Dyslexia Society.  I met some really wonderful people and felt so pleased that David James was receiving some acknowledgement for nurturing new musical theatre writers through his inspired idea of the Book, Music and Lyrics Workshop.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Grants For the Arts

I have just completed another Grants for the Arts Application.  The last one was turned down but we were given good advice on how to improve it from the Arts Council, and also masses of help from Watford Palace Theatre, who have been so brilliant.  I am just keeping my fingers crossed now.  I think we will probably hear just before Christmas.