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, 14 June 2015

Tiny Shows - Big Gestures

Big Gestures for Tiny Shows with Jennifer Toksvig

Over the Weekend of the 13th and 14th June I worked on an immersive Tiny Show Project with The Copenhagen Interpretation and Women Who Write Musicals.  It was led by the creative genius that is known as Jennifer Toksvig.  Above you can see her explaining.  She had to do quite a bit of explaining  about the process at the beginning but once we all got it we flew with it into the world of immersive theatre, creating Tiny Shows on the theme of Cinderella, for an audience on the Sunday afternoon.  The pressure was on but some beautiful tiny moments of theatre emerged from it.

When we arrived on Saturday morning we had no idea what any of this was really about.  When I left on Tuesday evening I had written two songs and found a new writing partner!

One of my favourite photos of the weekend, Composers Olly Weeks and Sayan Kent
Opera singer Belinda Evans and Olly Weeks performing our number Perfect Girl
about the guy who wants to be a Fairy Godmother!

Here you can see some of the ideas for shows under the titles of Tension and Transformation!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Our Day with Claude-Michel Schonberg

Suzanna Kempner, James Meunier, Steven Edis, Teresa Howard and Claude-Michel Schonberg
Claude-Michel Schonberg
It isn't often you get the chance to spend the day with a superstar, a creative superstar who is taking the time and trouble to actually listen to your work and give you his pure golden nuggets of wisdom. On the 8th of June Steve Edis and I, along with seven other MMD writing teams got the chance to do this with Claude-Michel Schonberg, best known for writing the book and music of Miss Saigon and Les Miserables with book and lyricist Alain Boublil.

This was truly one of my best MMD moments so far, and I will never forget it!

We chose two scenes with songs from our Pre-Raphaelite musical Possessed and they were beautifully performed by Suzanna Kempner and James Meunier, who we have known since our first workshop at the RAM.  Above is a photo of us, rapt, listening to the master's every word.

It wasn't just the chance to listen to Claude-Michel talking about our work, it was also riveting listening to him talk about the work of the other writing teams: Adam Ford and Kitty McDonald; Craig Adams and Andrew Doyle; Alex Loveless; Rebecca Applin & Susanna Pearse; Scott Gilmour & Claire McKenzie; Mel Lawman & Matt Finch; Catherine Macdonald & Adam Ford; Jake Bringer & Pippa Cleary, many of whom are dear writing friends and colleagues. It was a particularly intimate day, our work was exposed, Claude-Michel was inspiring, with razor sharp insight, and we all felt very close by the end of the day.

Below is a picture of Victoria Saxton, the new Executive Director of MMD, who helped to make the day possible.
Victoria Saxton, Chief Executive of MMD 

Teresa Howard, Chaude-Michel Schonberg & Suzanna Kempner

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


Blue Silk Dress by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Tomorrow I have an exciting day of dramaturgy on our Pre-Raphaelite musical POSSESSED with John Sparks from the New Musicals Inc. Academy in LA.

In the evening Steve and I are rehearsing with performers Suzanna Kempner and James Meunier for the Masterclass we have next week on scenes and songs from POSSESSED with Claude-Michel Schonberg.

It will be interesting to see what these very different feedback sessions will bring to the show.