• Perfect for high schools – ingenious new musical with a new take on Lewis Carroll classic

     

    Is Everybody Happy

    Dan McCaughern and James Colclough’s musical Alice Through The Plasma Screen brings Lewis Carroll’s tale of looking glass absurdity and whimsiness firmly into the twenty-first century, and is already getting performances in high schools.

    It is very loosely based on the classic story – in McCaughern and Colclough’s version Alice (a modern day teenager) is struggling with everyday life at home, and like many young people, loses herself in the world of TV, but on this particular day she passes through the TV onto the other side….

    Here she experiences the happiness, pain, fun and fear of TV – Games shows, Soap Operas, Movies, Talent Shows  etc, but then she finds out that the world of TV is not as great as she thought, going from boring, to tasteless -and at times extremely dangerous…but ultimately limited….and what’s worse –she’s stuck there! She eventually manages to return home to her parents, wiser and excited about the future in the real world!

    Composer Dan McCaughern explained: “The story unravels through a series of sketches and songs as Alice journeys through the various programmes. These are, mostly, self- contained and, therefore, the musical is easy to rehearse, as the scenes each have their own set of characters, with Alice being the link between them.”

    The music score is fully notated and the guitar and bass parts are also available as TAB. Backing tracks and full versions are available for rehearsal and/or performance.

    Kerry Greenwood, head of Drama at De Aston School, Market Rasen, said “It’s great fun, and really easy to rehearse”.

    You can find out more by checking out the NMN page for the musical HERE, and also there are three songs for you to listen to on Dan and James’ Media page HERE.

    Anyone who may be interested in staging the musical is warmly invited to contact NMN through our contact page, and we will put you in touch with Dan and James.



  • New work from the pen of Bob Gould

     

     

    Lyricist and book writer Bob Gould has been a friend of NMN since his work was featured in our very first Snappy Title showcase back in 2009.

    Bob is a skilled writer  and his work is always innovative, original, though-provoking and well crafted.

    He has been in touch with details of two new musicals he has been working on: A Pebble for Aaron and Shadow on the Sun.

    Please read details below, together with links to the websites for the two shows.

    A PEBBLE FOR AARON (co-written with Rob Eyles)

    It’s late November in New York’s East Village and it’s snowing. Ray Green, a Jewish man in his 50s, and Bella, Ray’s alcoholic ex-wife, enter Stan’s Diner and proceed to exchange a series of barbed, vicious but also comic one-liners while waiting for their breakfast.
    What are the ghosts from the past that still tear this couple apart with such a deep hurt?

    Why does their dead son Aaron’s former boyfriend, Joey, come to meet with Bella on this day?

    Who placed a new pebble on Aaron’s grave?

    Website (includes samples from the songs): http://bob8rich.wix.com/apebbleforaaron

     

    SHADOW ON THE SUN (co-written with Omri Lahav and Jimmy Granstrom):
    SHADOW ON THE SUN is a science fiction “musical within a musical” which tells the dual stories of science fiction novelist Jake Temple and the novel he is desperately trying to write.

    “Deep inside reality
    There’s a trace of heaven
    Within a space where hell begins.
    Do we all defy insanity
    When we step inside reality?”

    Website (includes samples from the songs): http://bob8rich.wix.com/shadow-on-the-sun

     

     



  • A Concert for people who love Stephen Schwartz’s Songs!

     

    Spark of Creation

    Although not strictly speaking “new musicals” territory, we wanted to tell you about a charity concert NMN are producing on Sunday 15th February at the Pheasantry, King’s Road.
    The concert is called The Spark of Creation – Highlights from the Songbook of Stephen Schwartz. It basically does what it says on the tin: an exciting journey through the work of one of Broadway’s and cinema’s most enduring songwriting talents.
    The performers are all up-and-coming West End professionals, and, as the title suggests, the programme will feature everyone’s favourite songs from  Godspell, Wicked, Pippin, The Baker’s Wife, Children of Eden, and of course some of the Disney songs we all know and love!
    Best of all, the cast are performing free of charge and all proceeds will be going to MyAware and a second charity which Mr Schwartz himself has  nominated – the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. NMN have been supporting MyAware for three years now –it’s quite a small charity (supporting people with the debilitating and sometimes life-threatening condition, myasthenia gravis) and does not get very much involvement from the entertainment industry – it’s a very deserving cause, as is, of course Stephen’s chosen charity JDRF!
    The talented cast consists of: Turlough Convery (Godspell, TV’s My Mad Fat Diary), Jessica Singer (Vocalist, the Olivier Awards, and Kerry Ellis’ latest album), Craig Rhys Barlow (Ragtime, Children of Eden), Joanna Thorne (Bonnie and Clyde, European premiere), Jordan Langford (Dick Whittington, UK Tour, TV’s The One Show and the Paul O’Grady Show), Francesca Bunce (Children of Eden, One Line Sondheim), Nathan Lodge (Christmas In New York, Scott Alan and Friends) and Connie Nash (Jack and the Beanstalk, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, backing singer for The Saturdays on TV’s Tonight’s the Night). Also, there will be a 4-piece band (Peter Auker – piano, Adam Behrens – guitar, Adam Smith – bass guitar and Nick Anderson, drums) to accompany the singers – this is a backing-track-free zone!
    Tickets are £15, and can be obtained from the Pheasantry website HERE.



  • New Musical for a New Year!

    Composer/writer Jonathan Bacchus is developing an exciting new musical called Soundtrap. Its premise is that two middle-aged men meet to listen to and discuss the songs they wrote and recorded together when they were teenagers in the 1960s. It transpires that there is something extremely compromising to one of them on one of the rehearsal tapes. …

    Watch out for more details soon, but in the meantime you can hear some demo songs on Jonathan’s media samples page on this site. Click HERE.



  • “Route To Happiness” hits the shops!

    You may be interested to learn that Kerry Ellis, Ben Forster and Louise Dearman’s recording of Alexander Bermange’s  three-person musical The Route To Happiness is released today (8th December 2014)!

    Kerry Ellis, Ben Forster and Louise Dearman are three of the UK’s most popular and internationally successful musical theatre stars. Kerry Ellis was the first British Elphaba in Wicked, in which she has starred both in the West End and on Broadway; Ben Forster shot to fame on ITV’s Superstar, in which he won the title rôle in the international arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar; and Louise Dearman is the first actress ever to have starred as both Glinda and Elphaba in Wicked, having played both rôles in the West End.

    The Route To Happiness charts the individual and interweaving experiences of three present-day Londoners in pursuit of their respective dreams: finding love, making money, and becoming famous. This album of the complete score includes new and specially reconceived material that Bermange has created for the musical since its critically acclaimed run at London’s Landor Theatre last year, and is produced by Mike Dixon, one of the UK’s foremost Musical Supervisors.

     

    The Route To Happiness is available both as a deluxe 2 CD set from Amazon (http://tinyurl.com/kq24o7j), Dress Circle (http://tinyurl.com/nupt8or) and Sound of Music (http://tinyurl.com/lve367k), and to download from iTunes (http://tinyurl.com/mxvferp) and all major digital platforms. A trailer can be viewed at http://youtu.be/KIfJbhnLjmw.



  • Stars of “The Voice” and “X Factor” help fundraising for “Streets”

    StreetsParty

    To celebrate the Multi-Award nominated ‘New Kind of Musical’ – STREETS, and to continue fundraising for its return in January 2015, Interval Productions presents STREETS PARTY | London’s Got Talent.

    A night of live entertainment; featuring stars of The Voice and The X Factor alongside some of London’s hottest and freshest talent, as well as an exclusive preview from the cast of STREETS. Vince Kidd, finalist on Series 1 of The Voice, and Luke White, formerly of Times Red (X Factor wildcards) will both be performing sets, as well as STREETS writer and producer Tori Allen-Martin who appears on Idris Elba’s forthcoming album Mandela.

    Live music commences from 8pm, with DJs taking to the decks later on in the evening so that you can dance the night away, after being suitably inspired by some of the most dynamic dance acts in the UK. There might even be a bit of face-painting action.

    Come and hang out with us in one of London’s most exciting venues for an underground street party. Escape, and get lost for a few hours; forget your worries and just immerse yourself.

    FEATURING: Vince Kidd (The Voice), Finn Anderson (Alba, Streets), Tori Allen-Martin, Pikey Esquire (beatboxer), Samuel Ford, Samuel King (spoken word artist), John McCrea, Neil Onions, Jack Shalloo (Departure Lounge, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Luke White (X Factor), The Cast of ‘Streets’, DJ Philharmonic and more TBA.

     

    Times: 8pm – 2am (Doors: 7:30pm)

    Location: The Vaults, Leake Street London, SE1 7NN

    Tickets: £10-20 – book here http://www.streetsproject.co.uk/streetsparty



  • MAD for Christmas – charity album due out soon!

    MADforChristmas Album Cover

     

    Auburn Jam Records is pleased to announce the release of ‘The West End Goes MAD For Christmas’; a compilation album of Christmas songs by new writers, performed by a host of West End stars. The album will be officially released on November 30th to coincide with MAD Trust’s annual fundraiser, ‘A West End Christmas’, at St Paul’s (The Actor’s Church), Covent Garden. CDs, priced at £10, are available to pre-order now via both the MAD Trust and Auburn Jam Music websites.

    Songs on the album will be:
    Together We Can Make ItKillian Donnelly & the cast of Les Misérables; written by Felix Hagan
    HomeAlistair Brammer; written by Gus Gowland & Alistair Brammer
    I Love ChristmasChloe Hart; from The Bakewell Bake Off written by The Baking Committee
    This Christmas – written & performed by Stuart Matthew Price
    Reindeer Wives Harriet Thorpe, Christopher Howell & Sophie Isaacs; written by Anderson & Petty
    A Soldier’s ChristmasGerónimo Rauch & Nadim Naaman; written by Nadim Naaman
    Praying For YouGina Beck; written by Alexander Bermange
    The Little Match GirlJanie Dee; written by Tim Connor

    Nikki & Joe Davison are the husband & wife team behind Auburn Jam Music production & recording studio, & accompanying label Auburn Jam Records. They explain the inspiration behind the album:

    “This year is the 5th anniversary of our studio, so we wanted to do something special to celebrate, and raise some money for the brilliant work that The Make A Difference Trust do at the same time. We have had the privilege of working with some fantastic up-and-coming new musical theatre writers, as well as talented West End performers and singer-songwriters to produce albums and original cast & concept recordings over the past five years, so it seemed like the perfect celebration to do a Christmas album of new songs! The album is very eclectic, there’s rock, pop, classical, comedy… definitely something for everyone!

    We’re so grateful to all the writers and singers involved for giving their talents so willingly; to Kate Scott for her album photography which has really captured the festive spirit of the recording sessions; to Darryl Carpenter for his beautiful illustrations for the album artwork; and also to Mandy Wheeler & Rob Ottey at Cameron Mackintosh LTD for co-ordinating us recording the Les Misérables cast at the Queen’s Theatre, which was a day to remember! Thank you all! ”
    The Make A Difference Trust, or MAD Trust, brings together the British Entertainment community and its audiences to raise funds to support people living with HIV and AIDS in the UK and South Arica, and those in the entertainment industry facing hardship as a result of a long-term chronic illness.

    “The Make A Difference Trust is thrilled to be working with Nikki & Joe at Auburn Jam Records, and the many talents of the writers & performers, who have joined together to make a difference to the lives of  individuals and communities living with, and affected by, HIV, both in the UK and Southern Africa. Music has the power to transcend stigma, discrimination and prejudice, and we are proud & grateful to everyone involved, who has joined together as one community to help us raise funds to provide education, care and support. Thank you.”

    A donation from each album sale will go to the charity. Pre-ordered CDs will be dispatched on Friday 28th November, or available to collect at ‘A West End Christmas’ on Sunday 30th November. The CD will come with a lyric booklet including behind-the-scenes photos by Kate Scott of the recording sessions, and beautiful illustrations by artist Darryl Carpenter. The album will also be available to download via all major online retailers, including iTunes & Amazon MP3 from Sunday 30th November.
    To pre-order CDs:
    http://madtrust.myshopify.com/
    or
    http://www.auburnjam.co.uk/product/the-west-end-goes-mad-for-christmas/



  • Two Exciting Shows You Might Be Interested In

    Here are some details of forthcoming shows which will be of interest to any fan of new musical theatre writing:

    Firstly, October sees the World Premiere of SOVIET ZION, a new musical drama set in failed Yiddish state in Siberia

    sovietzion

    This new musical drama tells the story of an American family and a Ukrainian family who in 1939 both move to Siberia, where the Soviet state was striving to create a socialist, Yiddish-speaking utopia.
    The reality they face is not what they had been led to believe, and great personal sacrifice will have to be made in order for them to achieve the freedom they seek.
    Set against a grand historical backdrop, the story of these characters’ intertwining lives explores questions of identity, integrity, and faith.
    This production, kindly supported with a Grant for the Arts from the Arts Council of England, is the first time this all-new show will have been presented to the public.
    Tickets @ £18/£16 – To order tickets and to find out more visit www.sovietzion.com
    Book & lyrics by Giles Howe with Roberto Trippini
    Music by Giles Howe and Katy Lipson
    Director: Bronagh Lagan
    Musical Director: Joseph Finlay
    Assistant Musical Director and Vocal Arranger: Colm O’Regan

    And in November, why not pop along to The Pheasantry for an evening of songs by the ever-entertaining Alexander S. Bermange?

    Alexander-S-Bermange

    Critically acclaimed musical theatre composer/lyricist – and BBC comic songwriter –  Alexander S. Bermange is bringing his unique blend of wit and whimsy to The Pheasantry in London this autumn. Alexander has received recognition for his many stage musicals (including, most recently, The Route To Happiness, which has just been recorded by Kerry Ellis, Ben Forster and Louise Dearman and is due for release later this year) and is known to millions as the resident comic songwriter and performer on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House and the World Service’s Weekend. His funny songs – some topical, others timeless – have not only tickled national and international radio audiences, but have also acquired a formidable following through performances and recordings by dozens of West End stars.
    Following his critically acclaimed performances of his comic songs at the St James Studio, and having spent this summer earning rave reviews in the UK tour of Murder On Air, Alexander is to make a welcome return to The Pheasantry, a beautiful and historic venue in the heart of London’s fashionable Kings Road. He will be premiering an extensive selection of brand new material in addition to presenting some of his best-loved comedic musical creations about second-rate singers, perverted pensioners, tube-travelling trainspotters, and popular personalities from Prince Harry to David Beckham.
    Alexander will be joined on stage by a selection of special guest leading ladies, currently scheduled to include Aimie Atkinson (Carnaby Street, Dirty Dancing, winner of the BBC Radio 2 Voice of Musical Theatre), Lucy May Barker (Sweeney Todd, Spring Awakening, and plays at the National and Open Air Theatres), Helena Blackman (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, TMA Award nominee for South Pacific, Off West End Award nominee for Noel & Gertie), and Caroline Sheen (Putting It Together, Les Misérables, Helen Hayes Award winner for Mary Poppins).
    Alexander S. Bermange and his special guests are appearing at The Pheasantry, 152 Kings Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4UT on Tuesday 18th November at 8.30pm. Tickets are available at http://www.pizzaexpresslive.com or on 0845 6027 017. Further information about Alexander’s work, and video extracts of him in performance, can be found at www.bermange.co.uk.

     



  • WANTED! Discussion panel members

    NMN director and Stephen Sondheim Society trustee Peter Auker is seeking panel members for a discussion session at the Society’s biennial study weekend, Brush Up Your Sondheim, which will be at the Royal Academy of Music on 26th-27th July

    You’ll be part of an amazing team of experts including Timothy Sheader, Mary Hammond, Rebecca Caine, Dominic McHugh and many more…….

    As an extra exciting bonus, Stephen Sondheim himself will be doing an exclusive Q&A session live via a video link from New York on the Saturday at 3.45pm, and will be accepting questions from the floor…

    One session has been reserved for a panel discussion on Sondheim’s legacy and influence, and composers and writers are required to populate the panel  (4 or 5 would be perfect).

    They should be willing to discuss how Stephen Sondheim has influenced their own work, and also be prepared for the discussion to enter a more general sphere, whereby they can give their views on how his legacy as a composer and lyricist has resonated (and continues to resonate) within the whole genre of musical theatre.

    The panel discussion will be on Sunday 27th July at 3.30pm and will last for approximately 30 minutes, with some time for questions from the floor at the end, so you would need to be available at that time.

    Anyone who would like to be considered for being a member of the panel, should email Peter at his Sondheim Society address, which is peter.auker@sondheim.org

    There is unfortunately no fee for being on the panel, but members will be able to attend the weekend’s activities free of charge if they wish (worth £75)