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, 23 August 2015

I Capture the Castle Workshop at the RNT Studio

This week Steve Edis and I have a workshop of our musical adaptation of I Capture the Castle at the Royal National Theatre Studio directed by Brigid Larmour with associate director Shona Morris and musical supervisor Catherine Jayes.  We will have fabulous actors drawn from three shows on at the National: Three Days in the Country, Warhorse and the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. It will be wonderful to be working on the show again and be back at the studio where our very first musical workshop took place

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Blackamoores by Onyeka

Last weekend I went up to Stratford to see the work two of my collaborators had been doing over the past few months.  Steve Edis had composed the music for Trevor Nunn's wonderful and hilarious new production of Volpone and Brian Protheroe was playing Brabantio in the ground breaking Othello with Lucian Msamati's black Iago,  also Brian gave us a stupendous Aragon in The Merchant of Venice.

I was lucky enough to go to a debate at the theatre about whether Othello is a racist play. The much adored Hugh Quarshie, who plays Othello was on the panel, along with Lucian Msamati, academic Onyeka Nubia and Celia R. Caputi.

Onyeka let us into some of his store of secrets, uncovered after 23 years of research into the black inhabitants of Britain during Tudor times. To order your own signed copy of his book go to the website here:  Blackamoores

One of the most interesting things that came out of the discussion was that during Tudor times black people were not thought of as a race, the Tudors thought that dark coloured skin was only because of the sun.  Shakespeare would not have thought of Othello in the way we do now because for him there had been no slavery, no Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King. It was such a curious thought and now I wish I could see the play again just to see how I felt about it knowing that.

Casting for the National Theatre Studio

RNT Studio

Sitting at a beachfront table at Meltemi Cafe on the tiny island of Patmos, in Greece, I found myself glued to my laptop hungry for moments of wifi so I could access the internet.  I was collaborating on casting for a workshop of I Capture the Castle at the National Theatre, and the heat was on.  This is the musical that Steve Edis and I wrote, based on Dodie Smith's wonderful novel about first love and the power of inspiration.

Sometimes it doesn't matter that you have to work when you're on holiday, not when there's such an exciting event coming up in a few weeks!!

Five of us collaborated over the casting and now I'm waiting to see what happens and who these absolutely new interpreters of the show will be.  

This is going to be a time of exploration, showing Brigid Larmour our Director and Shona Morris the movement director the new songs Steve and I have written and trying out a new version of the show I worked on at the Hosking Houses Trust Retreat a while back.  The two directors work really well together, producing incredibly exciting work at Watford Palace Theatre.  The most recent show they collaborated on was Timberlake Wertenbaker's new play Jefferson's Garden.

When I walk into the studio in on 24th August I will remember sitting under the palms on that beach on Patmos!