Musical Rewrites – Shoots: Wonky Musicals!
Aldridge Studio, The Lowry, Manchester – 20th September 2017. Reviewed by Julie Noller
This is an important week for The Lowry Members, it’s also a week I would’nt normally witness and get to see, so I feel very priveledged. It’s a chance to see snipets of various works at various stages. Fresh raw talent, from early budding careers, a chance to showcase early writings. It’s all brand new and quite possibly over a year away from being stage ready.
The evening was hosted by Sam Brady who as a comic is himself being supported through The Lowry’s Developed With programme. He brought humour to a rather tense and nervous room, introduced each of the acts after they’d set up their stage dierection. I did feel somewhat like I was walking into a drama workshop at school on arriving, but it was my first time inside Aldridge Studio and being honest a workshop is exactly what was happening.
We watched each of the four acts perform two songs, each one very different in design and ideas. Below is a quick synopsis of the four musicals to look out for over the next year.
Witches of the World Unite (working title)
By Ali Matthews and Leo Burtin; with Julia Nelson, Sophie Galpin & Sashwati Mira Sangupta, supported by Arts Council England.
It’s billed as a piece of protest theatre, a call to arms for feminists to form a magical thinking sisterhood. It’s a fun idea to see a witch rockstar on stage with her punk band. Perhaps to see more of the witch rockstar belting out her rock classics would suit, as I loved the rough and ready screeches of punk rock.
Ubuesque! The Scientific Musical of Imaginary Solutions
Directed by Collette Murray and Mark Winstanley. Music and Performance by Alex McCoy and Sarah Coyne.
It’s not entirely clear from the title, but I feel it’s a very tongue in cheek retelling of that age old story of political aspirations. Using song which borders into Opera, I found it confusing to follow the story. I am aware that we only saw a snipet, I have to say the audience was giggling and I know my teenagers would’ve loved the very obvious toilet humour.
By David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoe Roberts.
This is already quite polished and the humour flowed, a very British story, told in a fun musical hall way. Ian Fleming (yes the creator of 007) was a central character and his input into the mission devised by secret services had the audience giggling over tuxedos, vodka martinis, beautiful women. Not to mention the whole team getting carried away by fights on top of moving trains. This slapstick comedy will draw the crowds in as it covers not only comedy but also historical genre too.
Writer Writes (working title)
By Derek Martin and Giles Deacon. Directed by Dan Jarvis. Performed by Robert Clement-Evans, Lara Hancox, Tom Lloyd and Rebecca Ward.
What happens when you get writers block? What happens to your characters when they take over your imagination? Watching this musical develop you realise the possibilities are endless including the chance to adlib. It will take some good acting and singing to change direction with different direlects but ultimately could be a very good fun packed to the rafters comedy.
Well done to everyone who got up in front of the small audience and also their peers to showcase their talents, I enjoyed watching a different aspect of theatre life, saw the hard work and dedication that goes into producing plays. Each snipet was delivered professionally, the singing was great. Good luck to each team for future development, I hope I get to see the finished acts and compare the fresh, rawness to the polished, finished article.