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

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Sally Dexter

Sally Dexter - Leda

The beautiful and hugely talented Sally Dexter is playing Leda in our musical showcase of I Capture the Castle at Drury Lane.

Sally is going to be playing the White Witch in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in Kensington Gardens which opens to previews on 8th May.  For more information go to this link HERE

Walter Van Dyk

Walter Van Dyk - James Mortmain
Walter Van Dyk played Gabriel in our very first showcase of Possessed at Greenwich Theatre.  He is now playing the eccentric but loveable James Mortmain in our workshop of I Capture the Castle.

Last Year Walter played the Herr Schwarz in Sir Richard Eyre's brilliant production of A Flea in her Ear at the Old Vic, alongside the charismatic Tom Hollander.  Walter will shortly be flying off to Hong Kong with the Rose Theatre's production of The Importance of Being Earnest.  

The First Week

Claire Chambers - Rose Mortmain

It is the end of the first week of the workshop, and it does seem as if we have achieved a lot but there is still a long way to go before next Friday afternoon.

Everyone in the cast knows their songs and have been rehearsed and rehearsed with Steve and our consultant MD Cathy Jayes.  We have all collaborated on the setting of the songs, cutting and rewriting dialogue leading up to and away from songs.  Brigid Larmour, the director has also  made some really interesting and clever comments on the delivery of some songs.  Listening to our wonderful cast singing I feel completely transported.  The new harmonies Steve has written are unbelievably wonderful, as is all his music.

We have a new tighter version of the libretto.  I've especially worked at the scenes with Leda, because she has had to change from the male character Swann.

Today I telescoped the whole libretto to get it closer to the one hour we need for the showcase.  I still need to go further but it is beginning to emerge.  The interesting thing was that some of those cuts feel really good and may possibly be kept in the final libretto - others felt painful and won't.

It is always difficult to present vicious cuts to actors once they have become fond of their character.  There were cries of pain but I listened to the loudest and am thinking again on one or two scenes but in return others will have to go.  It is tough but we have to get that hour.

Working on the libretto alone today I missed the songs and am looking forward to the moment I have completed the moulding and they can come back.

Above is a picture of Claire Chambers - our lovely Rose.  I first met Claire singing for writers at the BML workshop while she was still at Central.  I saw her again playing Meg  in Little Women and thought she would be a good Rose if we got Suzanna Kempner - we did, and she is a fabulous Rose!

Sophie-Louise Dann Nominated for an Olivier!

Sophie-Louise Dann

Great excitement in the workshop when we all discovered that the wonderful Sophie-Louise Dann who is playing our Topaz has been nominated for an Olivier Award for her role as Diana Divane for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in LEND ME A TENOR.

I loved Lend me a Tenor and Sophie's performance as the ultimate diva was a tour de force.  We are all keeping our fingers crossed for her big day at Covent Garden

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The Workshop Begins

Cassandra - Suzanna Kempner

The Workshop begins tomorrow!

The actors all received a copy of the libretto on Friday and next week we will be developing this though the workshop process.

Suzanna Kempner will be playing Cassandra.  Sooz was our Cassandra at the workshop and reading at the Royal Academy of Music in 2010, while she was a student of the Musical Theatre course.  We got the chance to work with the Royal Academy of Music on our show through Mercury Musical Developments.  After a very exciting workshop period Katen Rabinowitz  asked us back to work on the musical and do a Concert Reading in 2010, which she directed herself.

Friday, 9 March 2012

I Capture the Castle Cast

We have got a really fantastic cast for the I Capture the Castle Workshop - in order of appearance they are:

Cassandra: Suzanna Kempner

Rose: Claire Chambers

Topaz:  Sophie-Louise Dann

Stephen:  Michael Pickering

James:  Walter van Dyk

Simon:  Paris Arrowsmith

Neil:  Jos Slovick

Mrs Hester Cotton:  Liza Pulman

Leda:  Sally Dexter

Thursday, 8 March 2012

French Retreat

Where better to be doing re-writes on I Capture the Castle than at my friend Lizzie Jackson's house in St Hilaire, near Carcasonne.  This amazing fairytale castle is just up the road!  I was chained to the desk at Lizzie's over the weekend.  Apart from writing all I had to do was to put wood on the fire.

Last Thursday Steve and I had a meeting with Brigid Larmour at Watford Palace Theatre.  It was an exciting afternoon: discussing the musical book, planning how we were going to present the work at the showcase and doing casting.  We also sat round the piano and sang Brigid one of the new songs we had just completed.  I left knowing it was going to be a busy time in St Hilaire, which it was, but also wonderful to escape London for a few days and be staying in such an inspirational place.  I think Dodie would have approved.