The title of this blog may be slightly misleading as I am perfectly aware that some of you have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about... indeed what I am talking about is a show which I had the privilege to work on after my return from tour in July.
In February of this year I was searching the 'Composer Wanted' ads (all too few these days) in the back of some shady magazine, when I saw an advertisement for an interesting looking show by 'How it Ended' productions. The idea was that a man got out of bed on the wrong side one day, and everything in his life went to shit as a result. I was interested by the idea, not only because I frequently got out of bed on the wrong side (an unfortunate side effect of sleeping in a different bed every night) but because they were based in Luton. And I'd never been to Luton. I sent off an application and lo and behold they invited me for an interview out in Luton. I went to Luton. I met the two lovely proprietors of 'How It Ended' Productions. Teresa (writer) and Eva (Performer and Director), two extremely motivated, talented, friendly, knowledgeable practitioners of new devised theatre. We had a conversation that lasted about 30 minutes and I came away thinking that it would be lovely to work with them.
Unfortunately for me, there was someone else in the mix that they decided to go with, they were very complementary about my interview and my work and so I sent an email saying it was great to meet them and maybe work with them in the future.
Fortunately for me, the future happened to be rather sooner than later... Teresa and Eva emailed me out of the blue a couple of months later saying that they were having difficulty with the fellow in question and whether or not I was still interested in being involved. We met up at the National Theatre for a chat (as I was about to go on tour I didn't know how much I could help). But the conversation and the ideas were so exciting that I really wanted to do it. And bless them, they signed me up as their composer.
Over the next few weeks Teresa sent me draft scripts and I wrote a couple of draft songs for their show which were incorporated into the script through brief workshops. It was very intensive and quick working, but great to see that I could work that quickly. When I returned from tour, they were into intensive rehearsals for their Edinburgh Fringe run of the show... and I was flat out writing and recording an enormous amount of music for the almost silent movie-esque score. Lots of research and listening and writing and rehearsing later, the show previewed at Theatre 503 to a very excited audience. Including some of my favourite people. The feedback was very positive and we went back into rehearsal for a final week, reworking, music and songs and scenes that didn't fit, polishing and tightening until we had the final show.
Thanks to the wonderful talents of the performers (Eva, Pete, Richard, Helen), wonderful set by James, beautiful words by Teresa and strong direction from Eva the show was very successful in the Edinburgh run and was named in the Top 50 shows.
This was a great project to develop my arranging skills on and super fun people to work with to boot.