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

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A Chorus of Disapproval

Steve Edis in rehearsals for A Chorus of Disapproval

Steve is not only the Musical Director for Trevor Nunn's new production of Alan Ayckbourn's A CHORUS OF DISAPPROVAL, but is also playing Mr Ames.   After having seen him on stage in a double act with Josie Lawrence I am not at all surprised to see him take the stage again in this wonderful comedy!!

Rob Brydon is making his West End debut as Dafydd Ap Llewellyn.  The rest of the cast includes Nigel Harman, Teresa Banham, Daisy Beaumont, Georgia Brown, Rob Compton, Matthew Cottle, Jessica Ellerby, Barrie Rutter, Paul Thornley and Susan Tracy.

The Pendon Amateur Light Operatic Society’s production ofThe Beggar’s Opera is going off the rails, that is until a handsome but shy young widower Guy (Harman) joins the group. An instant hit with the company’s ferociously zealous director Dafydd (Brydon) and the show’s leading ladies, including Dafydd’s wife Hannah (Jensen), Guy soon gets more than he bargained for as he discovers that all the best action happens off-stage. Classic songs fill the air as the drama on stage is mirrored by the romantic rivalry and small town squabbles causing a stir in the wings of this ambitious local show.   Not seen in London since the National Theatre’s hit production over 25 years ago A Chorus of Disapproval promises to be an hilarious battle of wits and sexes!!  Oh how I love Ayckbourn!

A Chorus of Disapproval is opening on 17th September for a limited season, 
until 5th January at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Panton Street, SW1 4DN 
There will be 100 tickets for only £10 for each performance!!

A link to the website for tickets can be found here

Mercury Musical Developments Gala

I'm looking forward to going to the MMD 20th Anniversary Gala.  There is going to be quite a line up of stars and wonderful songs.  This will all go towards the fanstastically good cause of MMD's festival of new musical theatre!!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

11 o'clock numbers

I have been thinking about 11 o'clock numbers and brought up the subject as a focus for discussion at the Musical Writing Lab I go to.

What is an 11 o'clock number you may ask?

I have read a lot about what it means and here are some replies:

"The term is derived from the fact that during the golden age of broadway, shows had later starting times which meant that the 11 o'clock number would occur late in Act II, which would typically coincide with 11pm."

"A big song near the end of the show that stands out and energises the proceedings before the finale."

"A song in a musical that is placed near the end of the second act, before the plot's loose ends are tied up."

"It isn't a reprise."

"A song in which the main character has some kind of revelation or undergoes a major emotional moment that brings the musical to a climax."

Last April Birdland in New York had a cabaret evening that was called "11 o'clock numbers at 11 o'clock!" which seems a strange idea for a cabaret night because every number would supposedly be a show stopper.

here are some examples of 11 o'clock numbers:

Memory - Cats

Confrontation - Jekll & Hyde

No Good Deed, March of the Witch Hunters and For Good - Wicked

Marry the Man today - Guys and Dolls

Fifty Percent - Ballroom

Omigod You Guys - Legally Blonde

Reviewing the Situation - Oliver

How Could I Ever Know - The Secret garden

Not While I'm Around - Sweeney Todd

Step In Time - Mary Poppins

Anything You Can Do - Annie Get your Gun

What I Did For Love - Chorus Line

Rose's Turn - Gypsy

Two Lost Souls - Damn Yankees

Send in the Clowns

Being Alive - Company

Gimme Gimme - Thoroughly Modern Millie

From this I deduce that it is often a solo from the protagonist, but not always because many are duets and some are ensemble plus the protagonist.

I think the use for this song, structurally, must be to heighten the audience's excitement before the denouement.  Although some of the things I have read have said that this should be a song we come away singing at the end of the show - many of the above songs are not the best songs in the show or the ones we come away with, although some are.  There are rules but they can be broken.  But it looks as if there is a good reason for this type of number.  But did the composers sit down and say "let's write an 11 o'clock number" or did it just happen by chance?  Or was the idea of an 11 o'clock number so ingrained that they wrote it without thinking?

I have written the lyrics for a song, near the end of Capture, which could, I think, be an 11 o'clock number.  But when I wrote the lyrics I didn't realise that was what it might be.  In fact I wasn't quite sure what an 11 o'clock number was at that point.  So perhaps it does just happen!