New musical and play about Tolkien


On Sunday 26 afternoon I was taking a look to my timeline on Twitter and I came across two tweets about a new musical and a new play dedicated to the writer J.R.R. Tolkien.

They told me they are completely unassociated, so it was a nice coincidence!

I loved reading The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, he invented such a fascinating world with proper languages and writing, taking inspiration from real things, that’s maybe why his work is so appealing.

Not only Tolkien wrote some great books and inspired other artists, his whole life was an adventure! And tragic, too, starting from losing parents very soon and taking part to the WWI as a soldier.

These young talents are paying him what look like fantastic tributes! So they absolutely deserve a blog!

Both the productions talk about Tolkien’s friendship with C.S. Lewis, another writer who invented magic worlds and characters with his books. No surprises both are still sources of inspiration for many kind of artworks.


Let’s start from the first one I’ve found, the musical:

Tolkien – The Musical
Music and Lyrics written by Joseph Purdue

tolkienposter-a4-option3

New Musical explores the life of JRR Tolkien
Composer sets his sights firmly on reproducing debut show for the West End

book by Claire Gibson and Joseph Purdue

They are at showcase / development stage. Concert Trailer with musical clips are available on their YouTube channel.

Here the site of the composer, with news: http://www.joepurdue.com/news and his Twitter account @Joe_Purdue

23-yead-old Joseph’s creation “Tolkien” explores the life of perhaps the 20th century’s most significant fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien – fabled auther of novels The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. … Throughout Joseph’s two hour musical, Tolkien’s maturity and traumas are shown: his upbringing with Father Francis, his involvement within the semi secret Tea Club and Barrowvian Society, the First World War, his friendship with fellow fantasy writer C.S. Lewis and finally the origins of the Lord of the Rings.

The first concert dates and venue were Wed 20th and Thur 21st April at Central Studio, QMC, Cilddesden Road, Basingstoke. Let’s hope there will be more soon.

Follow their Twitter account for news: @Tolkien_Musical and FB page TOLKIEN-The-Musical

Cast to be announced. More details will follow.


And then the play:

The Fellowship

a new play by Bryan Hodgson, Hodgson Creed Productions

The Fellowship

13th August at 4.30pm / 14th – 19th August at 6.00pm, Hen and Chickens Theatre

part of The Camden Fringe 2016, Camden Town, London

Their website: – FB page: – FB event:

Synopsis: “In a dimly lit back room of Oxford’s Eagle and Child pub, two young Oxford graduates share stories of dragons, elves and Norse mythology amidst occasional beer-fuelled banter. C.S. Lewis, a fresh faced, impressionable yet imaginative young atheist, finds himself conversing with the energetic and highly opinionated new head of English, Professor Tolkien. Before the birth of their imaginative worlds, these two great minds developed a strong and inseparable friendship that was one of the founding and fuelling elements of the birth of Narnia and Middle-Earth. This UK premiere explores the very beginning of such an unlikely bond between a devout Catholic and an ardent non-believer, and their continued support and love of each other’s work.

Tickets available here: http://www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=636

Hodgson Creed are Bryan Hodgson @bryanhodgson & Anita Creed @anitacreed

Bryan is currently playing Charlie Chaplin in a UK tour of “Chaplin: The Charlie Chaplin Story” and Anita has just finished filming a trailer for a feature film with Alan Ford (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells”). She has also recently worked with Andrew Wright, double Olivier award nominee for choreography, and Amy Anzel who currently produced a national tour of “Happy Days” and is currently producing “Sideways” at the St. James theatre in the West End.

Here is a link to a review of the show where Bryan and Anita met: theargus.co.uk

Cast to be announced. More details will follow.


Poster and synopsis courtesy of @Tolkien_Musical and .


I’m so curious on these two productions! If I was in London, I would certainly take a chance to see both the shows. Who knows if I’m able…? Never say never!

Looking forward to news from them!

BBC Home Front and other audio plays


HomeFront p023f6dl

(copyright BBC Radio4)

I’ve just started to listen to a fascinating WWI radio play, Home Front, these days.

It’s a “Drama serial tracking the fortunes of a group of characters on the home front as they try to maintain normality while Britain is involved in the First World War.

Official page http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b047qhc2

As you can see from the Characters, the cast is terrific and there is a good amount of interesting roles (eight families and other people) and the story takes places following exactly the real First World War Centenary timeline.

Every character has a page with information about date and place of birth, age at outbreak of WWI, occupation and even address! Plus a description of personality.

And audience can listen to it day by day or later with podcasts (single episodes or Omnibus week by week) and downloading the mp3 files. Well done BBC Radio4! A voice even says “thank you!” if you download the files, hehe! They appreciate if you do so!

Each episode is 11 minutes long and it’s aired from Monday to Friday at 12.04 am.

For each episode there’s the cast & creatives list in the page and they repeat it on the podcast. There are some beautiful illustrations along the days, too, I don’t know who is the author.

Plus links to articles on WWI real people and events.

I’m downloading all the Omnibus podcasts so that I can listen to the story from the beginning: it started the 4th of August 2014, but I didn’t know. So, as soon as the “RSC Oppenheimer” actor Jack Holden announced he joined the cast last Summer, I was taking a look to his character Roland Pemble.

As Jack tweeted yesterday: <<It’s my and Alex Tregear’s juicy episode of on at 1204 today! Photography’s never been so steamy…>> and he producer Allegra McIlroy tweeted: <<“Let’s go into the darkroom and see what develops” – sweetness + photography today >>, I liked a lot the episode and the previous others with them.

Lilian and Roland are two very charming characters, I like their personalities as described in their profiles: a bright and independent young woman who works in Photography (a kind of art I love and that was still in development and so open to creativity in those decades) at the beginning of the XX Century, when independence was not easy for women, side by side with a young assistant who loves his work and admires and loves…someone! You can well imagine what it’s going on between them through their voices, but in last’s episode…oh well, find out yourself!

Here the 9 October episode: <<HomeFront, 9 October 1915 “Lilian Frost sees Roland in a new light as they share a day of photographic discoveries” >>

And I will keep an eye on actress Alex Tregear, as well: she got a beautiful voice, like Jack!

 

Home Front

I also found moving what happens to another woman, but I don’t want to spoil you the story, so it’s better if we all start it from the beginning.

Even if so tragic and dreadful, I still find The Great War era interesting and here it’s seen under the point of view of those who lived it in first person.

Radio/Audio plays are great to listen to. My favorite between those I was lucky to find so far are:

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I hope all the BBC radio allow more works like these for audience outside the UK!

It’s not only a good exercise to improve my English, it’s amazing how the cast & creatives are able to make your imagination run using only voices and sounds effects. Even purer performances than on Theatre! I don’t know if you get what I mean…

This play, Home Front, will be added to my Favorites pages soon…

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Oh, damn you, London theatre!


It’s all member of the cast’ fault if I noticed almost last minute the musical The White Feather and, reading the synopsys, I had to book immediately!

The White Feather tweet

I’ve booked for this musical on Friday 16 October night, on their second last day of performances.

The White Feather 16 ott

So now my list of plays to see in London is: Teddy Ferrara (at least twice), The White Feather, The Bright And Bold Design plus one or two I will choose from the NTArchive.

I greatly appreciate the Union Theatre releases E-tickets, so I got it already! More theatres should do that!

The White Feather is a musical on the Great War, gender inequality and refers to homosexuality (that it seems was not unusual between WWI soldiers) – official site

The White Feather poster

<<This September, Arion Productions presents the world premiere of new British musical The White Feather at the Union Theatre.  It tells the story of Georgina Briggs whose brother was one of over 300 allied soldiers executed for cowardice during the First World War.  She won’t accept the shame and she won’t let it lie.  But as she fights for justice a shocking discovery awaits her.  

Memorials to the soldiers who fought and died in the Great War grace almost every town and village but 306 names are conspicuous by their absence – the men who were executed by their own side. Some were deserters and others were condemned for putting down their weapons in the course of battle but many were suffering from what we know now as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The White Feather tells the story of one soldier and his sister’s lifelong fight for a posthumous pardon. It also encounters the issues of homosexuality and gender inequality at the turn of the century. With powerful songs and a storyline with a twist, this production has a sharp emotional intensity generated by words and music.>>

 

I’m searching the Twitter accounts of cast&creatives:

CAST

Willows: Christopher Blades

Edith: Katie Brennan

Adam Davey: David Flynn

Brown/Edward: Zac Hamilton

Emma Cardinall: Cameron Leigh

Georgina Briggs: Abigail Matthews

Harry Briggs: Adam Pettigrew

Hannah Fisher: Kathryn Rutherford

Peter Arthurs: Lee Dillon Stuart

CREATIVES

THE WHITE FEATHER: By Ross Clark

Directed & Developed: Andrew Keates

Book: Ross Clark and Andrew Keates

Music & Lyrics: Ross Clark

Additional Songs: Matthew Strachan

Arrangements: Dustin Conrad & Martin Coslett

Costume Designer: Natasha Prynne

Designer: Tim McQuillen-Wright

Lighting Designer: Neill Brinkworth

Musical Director: Dustin Conrad

Producer: Arion Productions Ltd

Sound Designer: James Nicholson

Stage Manager: Chuck Deer

Voice Coach: Sarah Stephenson

ACCOUNTS

The Union Theatre

The White Feather

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