NMDC final sharing!

Our final New Musical Development Collective sharing is coming up on March 9th! Yes! Exciting!

It’s going to take place at Theatre Royal Stratford East and we’ll all show 20 minutes each. We have 2 days rehearsal with 5/6 performers then there’ll be 2 showings on the 9th – one for industry and another for anyone else (that could include you, if you fancy it!).

I wrote this wee synopsis to go in the programme:

Hero is the story of a group of actors developing a musical about legendary 60s soul singer – Martin Sinclair. You will see snippets of their musical juxtaposed against their development process. But as the outside world spills in, new allegations against Martin begin to threaten the actors’ process. Hero explores the emotional and physical traumas performers go through for their art and asks if you can still love a song/play/film once you find out what it took to make it?”

I’m pretty happy with that. It may have taken a whole year to write something that now seems so simple but hey it’s all about the taking away really, isn’t it? I’m happy that it’s something relevant and urgent and also theatrical and playful.

I feel like I now really have a handle on the journey of the protagonist –ANITA/DIRECTOR and I also really understand what’s going on in the Martin Sinclair narrative but I have less of a hold on the journey of the ensemble of actors. What actually happens in the rehearsal room? I think I know what they all want – bigger roles, more lines – and I can definitely see conflict coming out of that (there’s only 1 lead role) but who exactly is the conflict between, how does it manifest itself and how does it end? Questions, questions, all the questions!

Last week I watched National Treasure written by the wonderous Jack Thorne which is clearly quite relevant to Hero.

It was interesting that it directly references Jimmy Saville, quite a few times actually – “they think I’m Jimmy Saville!” but I wonder if this is the right choice for our musical? Should we reference and name Weinstein/Cosby? Also, Rose McGowan has written a book called Brave about Weinstein (which I haven’t managed to read yet) but apparently she never says his name, NEVER, throughout the whole book she just refers to him as The Monster.

I read an article where she was asked about this and she said she didn’t want to give him any more airtime, any more celebrity. I mean there is a clear contradiction there – she’s written a book about him; she is giving him airtime – but I suppose maybe she’s giving the subject airtime rather than him? Anyway, I thought there was something interesting in that too. Not sure what’s best for Hero though, but not to worry – we’ll get there.

Other stuff:

-Since our mid-point sharing we have hugely altered the opening scene. We’ve gone for something a lot more “traditional” now so we can really break away from this later. I love that we’ve got 20 minutes for this sharing (as opposed to the 10 minutes we had for our mid-point sharing). It means that we can really show the journey of the musical – present the beginning, middle and end.

-Saw a beautiful piece of gig theatre at Ovalhouse on Saturday called Medea Electronical by Pecho Mama theatre company. I completely loved it! For me it was gig theatre at it’s finest – theatre and a live gig completely intertwined. When the performers first walked on stage everyone clapped! Like it was a real gig! People don’t clap when actors come on stage to do a play! But at a gig… Yeah, AWESOME.

It’s essentially a one-woman show with 2 musicians on stage retelling Medea in a completely experimental and contemporary way. All the characters (bar Medea) are pre-recorded and the songs were so so haunting.

And the songs truly did add another dimension to the piece – the book and songs were definitely not just repeating one another – the songs took us deep inside Medea’s head and gave us ALL the feels. Must make sure in Hero that the songs don’t just double up the scenes and have a clear function/drive the narrative forward. And Martin will have had concerts – can we bring this feeling of a gig into play too?

-Have been reading Ann Bogart and Tina Landau’s The Viewpoints Book because I think this is the kind of stuff that DIRECTOR would be into. I’m creating her universe as she creates another…

That’s it from me guys. Over and out. xx

Consolidation

Today I wrote this paragraph:

Hero is the story of how, historically, women’s voices have not been heard; not been listened to. The voices of men with more power have drowned them out. But it seems that we are finally seeing a change – finally in 2017 there was a shift. The world didn’t shift after the Cosby allegations but it did cause a fissure, which turned into a massive crack with the Weinstein allegations and #MeToo campaign. WHY? Well, there are probably quite a few reasons but I think 1 of them is definitely because women came together in numbers, BIG NUMBERS. Only then were they heard. So, would it be true to say that it took 80 women to equal the voice of 1 man… perhaps. Before 2017 there was little difference between the present and the past – little progress/ momentum. 2017 marked a change… maybe we’re getting closer to 1 woman equals the voice of 1 man? We’re certainly not there yet though.

This is what Hero is about. And what a bloody great thing to write a musical about! Hearing and not being heard. Voices and silence. The power created when our voices come together.

We just have to remember that that’s what we’re writing about!!! ***REMEMBER THIS SHIREEN!!*** That’s what we’ve always and always been writing about! It’s just that lately we’ve been a bit caught up in other stuff – stuff that really isn’t important. So I’m hoping that writing this paragraph can mark a change for us too (or spark a memory of the past), and help us focus in and block out the static.

What else have I been doing? Well I’ve been reading some August Wilson because they’re set in the right time and place:

And Monday next week I’m going to see Rita, Sue and Bob Too at the Royal Court.

I haven’t read the play so I don’t know THAT much about it but I do know that it was written in the early 80s and is about power, sex, sexual assault and gender. This is the right thing for me to be watching right now.

I’m also going to go see Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 at the Gate.

But I’m not sure how relevant this will be to Hero. Initally I thought – OH YES, VERY RELEVANT – but now I’m a bit like, maybe not so relevant…. though probably a great piece of theatre that I’m gonna be happy I went to see.

Hero is a show with only Black characters in it but I’m not sure that it’s about race at all really. And I’m cool with that. I think our default is to write characters who are of the same race as we are. But why? I think it’s mainly because we don’t release that it’s a choice. When writing a musical/play everything is a choice. What’s the structure going to be like? What genre are you writing in? What age are the characters? What class? What gender? What sexuality? And what race. And it’s fine (and GREAT) to have only women in a show and have it be about gender but it’s also fine (and GREAT) for that same all female cast to be in a show with nothing to do with gender. And it’s fine (and GREAT) to have only queer people in a show and have the show be completely about sexuality or not about sexuality at all. Why not? There is no reason why not. I reckon make the choices you feel are right for the narrative and don’t be afraid to step outside of who you are. We’re artists – creators – remember.

Love xx

Mid-Point Sharing

Hey Kids,

This month has been MEGA.

We did our mid-point sharing at The Other Palace.

What did that consist of you ask? So each team pitched their idea to an invited audience, then about 10 minutes of the work was performed and finally, we asked the audience 1 question. We decided to present the opening 10 minutes of our piece.

We had 5 marvellous performers – Rebecca Brewer, Natey Jones, Matilde Ibsen, Paul Deegan and Carly Mercedes Dyer. MARVELLOUS. We had 3 hours in a rehearsal room at Theatre Royal Stratford. And we also had an abundance of signs which I made out of a massive roll of paper in my living room.

I had to IRON them because I couldn’t get them to stop rolling themselves back up…

 

I also had to fashion a make-shift portfolio bag with a clothes hanger handle to get them to the showing!

Anyway… the signs are PROBABLY less important than the showing itself…

Things having a mid-point sharing allowed/forced us to do –

1) Decide on a title! We came up with HERO (which I very much like)
2) Write a list of questions that we have about the work. We did this to come up with our “1 question for the audience.” This was a much more interesting task that I had expected. Here’s some of the list:

-Did you find Martin Sinclair to be a likeable, charming character?

-From the opening, where do you think this piece is heading?

-Is a musical set in the US relevant/of interest to a British audience?

-Was the opening engaging/clear enough to establish the main themes?

-Do the two narrative strands complement one another?

-What did you like about the piece?

-What did you find unclear?

In doing this we realised that actually we know a lot of the answers to the above (go us!). Also, for some of the questions, it’s not actually relevant what the audience thinks/feels as we know we want it like that OR actually it’s impossible for an audience to answer this after just 10 minutes of content.

3) Write the opening of our musical – the opening to both of the narrative strands of the piece!

4) Cut stuff! Sometimes when you hear things out loud you can get the best idea of pacing/when something is too long/needs to move forward faster.

5) Really get to know each other as collaborators. I bloody HEART my boys HARD.

They know about music, they know about theatre, they PUSH, they are BRAVE, they work hard and they reply to emails!!

6) Get some extremely useful feedback from audience members. For me 2 particular useful points came out of the feedback: (a list within a list, oh lord???)

-A man is victimised by someone in power and then he victimises a group of women he has power over. I didn’t realise (not sure how not!!) that I was drawing this parallel or making a statement about the abused becoming the abuser. It’s an interesting point but it’s not what this musical is about so it’s gotta go!

-The second thing that came from the audience feedback is about the difference between making a documentary and making fiction. Basically, dare I said it…. making a documentary is easier??? Originally our musical was about a real life person; the text had come from this mouth, the narrative from his life-story… when you do that no one can really question any weird plot points or odd character traits because IT’S REAL, IT REALLY HAPPENED, and if you don’t believe it/like it that’s not my bad (obvs documentary makers can edit/curate things to look like something else but that’s another story). BUT when you write something fictional you have to answer questions like “why did you make that choice”, “why not another”, “what are you saying” etc etc… And you can’t just fall back on “well, that’s what really happened.”

Another issue hurdle wondrous obstacle-course that fiction-makers will need to navigate that documentary makers will not is that of representation. If the lead character in a documentary is from a marginalised community… well… fine, whatever… but if the lead character is fictional and from an marginalised community they often become representational (whether the maker wants this or not). This occurs in real life too – if a Muslim lets a bomb off he represents all of the Islamic community – they are all violent extremists… but if a white KKK member commits an equally horrific act of violence this has no effect on how we view the white community.

So our “1 question to the audience” was – how do you feel about a fictional musical centring around a black man who is accused of rape? Whether he did it or not is left ambiguous in our narrative but today, not last year, today we are in a place of believing the women (I think anyway!… due to the wonderful #metoo campaign). So ambiguous or not perhaps the audience will think he did it. Is it possible we write a fictional musical about a black man who is accused of rape and NOT have the black man be seen as representational? Not have the narrative be read as a statement that all black men are rapists?

I really hope so. Because really this isn’t to do with us as musical-makers. We haven’t (and won’t) be putting anything into the script that points toward the lead character being representational. So how do we ensure he is MARTIN SINCLAIR not “Black male”?

Answers on a postcard! And Happy Holidays! xx

Backwards & Forwards & Narrowing Down

Hey Hey,

So this month has been a good month for narrowing things down. I once heard a (big and success) playwright say, “the play is in the sky… it’s your job to stalk it and pull it down.” I think that’s pretty spot on – pulling down a star, turning it around in your hands and then placing it back and dragging another down to see if maybe it’s THIS one. There’s also that quote from Michelangelo about chipping everything away that doesn’t look like David – that one always reverberates in me somewhere really deep.

Stuff I’ve been reading/watching to help with both narrowing down and opening up:

England People Very Nice by Richard Bean (basically just trying to get my hands on anything that has a play within the play)

The Keepers – netflix

O.J. Made in America (yes, I finally got around to this!!)

-Anything and everything about Harvey Weinstein

-Stuff about Phil Spector

Les Miserables (the movie)

Cabaret (I had seen it before but couldn’t remember it that well. There are surprisingly few song in it).

Dream Girls (I had never seen it. There are LOADS of songs in it. Is that a new thing? Do modern musicals have far more songs in them than older ones?).

Other stuff:

-I went to a talk by the brilliant Philip Ridley once and he talked about going to flea markets and buying items like a necklace, an interesting hat, an old broach, a belt etc… And then he’d get his actor mates to come around, put on the costume items and pose as these newly invented character. He’s take a photo and put the characters around his room and create plays from them. So yeah, I’ve been hanging out with these guys in my head…

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I’m not very good at remembering who’s who so being able to SEE them is really helping me. I’m also not used to writing big group scenes so again SEEING them is really helpful to me right now.

-Rob Hartmann came in and spoke to us the other week and he was EPIC. He recommended a book called Backwards & Forwards: A Technical Manuel for Reading Plays by David Ball. I read this at a very quiet reception I was temping on and it is excellent. Really I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s, I suppose, more for directors/actors but it’s also great for playwrights. It uses Hamlet as an example throughout the book, and I do not like Shakespeare – I just don’t understand the language – but, I understood what was going on because of this book! It simplifies things; makes everything super super understandable. Anyway, GO GET IT learn what action is and that a character in a script is only bones.

-Writing. I’ve written LOTS OF QUESTIONS.

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-Writing. I’ve written SOME answers.

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I’m always pro making choices. I’d rather answer the question and realize later that I was wrong than flounder around in murky water for too long. You can always change it later! I guess you just need to be open to getting rid of things and starting again if it turns out the choice was the wrong one…

At the moment, in our musical, there are 2 narrative strands that run parallel. I’m calling them:

-“R&D”

and

-“Showing”.

There is also what is happening in the present tense real world (outside of the R&D room) – people getting arrested, people getting released, witnesses coming forward, twitter, facebook etc… which has an impact on both the R&D and the Showing but is never seen. I’ve also discovered some new words to use – we’re going to call diegetic songs “Back Catalogue Songs” and non-diegetic songs “Expressive Songs.” Ok, “expressive” isn’t really the right work but Joe and I are going to go with it until we find something better – then we’ll just change it!

OH and on Tuesday Joe and I are going to see Kinky Boots!

Thanks guys xx

I’ll leave you in the hands of Phil Spector (aren’t you thrilled?)…

Character (de)construction

The other week writer Jake Brunger came into NMDC to talk to us. He said that the most important things to remember when writing a musical were:

-Create bold, distinct characters – characters that actors will want to play.

-Make sure your story has an end game i.e. a deadline…. so if you were writing a story set in a high school maybe your deadline is graduation day.

-Get to your songs quicker – try to really cut back your book, cut in half where possible.

-Don’t be over expositional.

-Less ballads! Keep things moving.

-Don’t bore your audience.

-Think about the balance of songs (as well as book); have a good mix of male solos, female solos, big group numbers, up tempo pieces and ballads.

He did state that, of course, not everything he advises will work for everyone but it does work for him.

The above list is not how I write (not even close). Sure some things I do think about – having an end game, not being overly expositional, balance – but a lot of the other stuff never even crossed my mind (eg. “don’t bore your audience”- in my opinion challenging your audience is SO MUCH MORE important than not boring them. I’m fine with them being bored for a bit as long as we all end up in the right place at the right time eventually). Taking a page out of Jake’s book though, this month, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about character (and writing a few too).

There is a girl group in our musical – The Mary Janes. The Mary Janes are made up of 4 women. Jake said that we needed to make all these women really distinct from one another.

Obviously the Spice Girls were all different people (no two people are the same) but what do you and I really know about them? We know they were Scary, Baby, Ginger, Sporty, Posh – but that was just a marketing ploy, right? We all know that right? But still…. if I met Emma Bunton (Baby) I would probably expect her to be sweet and kind. And if I was about to met Mel B I think I may walk into that room with a bit of trepidation. So even though WE KNOW simplifying these women down to types is a marketing ploy still we sort of believe it to be truth. We believe the image/the marketing even though we’ve NEVER EVER met the individual.

Why? Because we like to feel as though we KNOW our celebrities and our celebrities like to give us what we want so… Styling/branding them into simplified versions of women like “Posh”, “Scary”, “the one who raps”, “the chubby one”, “the Irish one”, “the lesbian” “the one who has the black line under her eye”, “the one with short hair”, “the one with the footballer boyfriend”, “the one who goes out with the manager” etc etc… repeating and retweeting, reading and consuming these one-liners make our celebrities 2D, uncomplicated people; people that it’s easy for us to relate to, to know.

                       

Perhaps Emma Bunton is nothing but apple pie and perhaps Mel B would bite your head off – I DON’T KNOW. I HAVE NO IDEA. That’s my point.

We, the public, seem to get a bit confused about what’s real and what’s constructed when it comes to celebrities/actors/singers. (And this has probably got WAY worse due to “reality” TV shows). Actors that I know, who have starred in soups, have told me that people will come up to them on the street and address them using their character’s name and ask how their husband (the CHARACTER’S husband) is doing after the (fictional) accident! I know actors who have been verbally abused on the street because they PLAYED a “baddie” on TV!!

So… because of all this I have some questions about The Mary Janes and constructing their characters:

-What will their marketing/public personas be?

-What will their private personas be?

-How different will one be from the other?

-ALSO in the musical you don’t actually meet the real women, you meet an actor’s interpretation of each women based on watching interviews, reading autobiographies, photos, press articles etc etc. So do we ever know the real women?

-In this world of trial by public opinion, how important is it that we keep our eyes open to marketing, PR and character construction?

That’s all she wrote xx

 

Stage Name

I’m in Edinburgh at the moment with a show. This if you’re interested.

I’ve seen lots of great things since I got here but a piece called Heather by Thomas Eccleshare really resonated with me; asking some similar questions to the ones we’ve been pondering in our musical. ***SPOILERS*** So the lead character is called Heather Eames. Heather lives in the country with her little daughter and husband. She’s a novelist who’s written a Harry Potter-esq children’s book, which, as the play opens, has just been picked up by a publisher. She emails back and forth with the publisher, the book is published and becomes a huge success. In all this time Heather and the publisher never meet – Heather is undergoing treatment for cancer and London would be too long a journey. Eventually, it is revealed that Heather is not who she seems to be. Heather does not live in the countryside. There is no daughter, husband or cancer – there is no Heather, only a man called Tariq. And Tariq is in prison for the rape of a woman as well as the murder of her 2 small children.

In prison Tariq created both Heather Eames and her novel. He knows that one cannot exist without the other; the public would never buy a novel from an Asian-male-rapist.

This is where things started to really whirr in my brain.

The publicist visits Tariq in jail and Tariq tries to pitch him his next book, actually, he’s already written it, it’s the sequel to his first.

The publicist refuses to publish the novel because Tariq’s true identity is now out – the public would never buy a children’s book from a convicted murderer and rapist.

.

.

.

Never, right?

.

.

.

Or would they?

.

.

.

Actually, yes, yes I think they would buy the sequel. If they LOVED the first book enough… (which in the play they definitely did – it had been turned into a movie with action figures and everything…) then I think they’d forgive anything…

Or maybe the public, us, you and I, maybe we would just refuse to believe the accusations…

Deny that these men could have done anything wrong…

These funny, charismatic, intelligent, talented men.

Because you can’t be talented and evil at the same time right? You can’t make us laugh/cry/smile, donate huge sums to charity, empower voiceless communities and also be a predator right? Or are we all a little bit good and a little bit evil, just some people are a bit more extreme with it?

There’s probably some statistics somewhere that’d tell us the definitive answer about the “but will the public buy it nonetheless” question. All I know is that Billie Jean is STILL played on the radio, in clubs, in supermarkets and hummed by people walking down the street (yes, yes I know he wasn’t found guilty BUT WE ALL KNOW HE WAS!).

Why do we believe that the artist and his art are interchangeable? …He makes beautiful, tender, funny work therefore he himself is beautiful, tender, funny etc…

I suppose the thing about it is that we, the public, think we know the (wo)man behind the mask – the artist – but really all we’re ever seeing is his Heather. We never really see Tariq unless something goes very wrong – e.g. Britney’s breakdown, Sinead O’Connor’s suicide video or a hoard of people coming forward saying the artist has assaulted them. But if you can make sure to keep your breakdowns and victims in check then the world will only ever see the you you create and this can be as far from the real you as Heather is from Tariq.

Or as Dr Huxtable is from Bill Cosby.

June/July

Things I did this month:

-Read London Road. I’d seen the play and watched the film but reading it is a completely different task. It is definitely not a musical to be read. So lesson I learned: you can’t judge a musical from text on a page.

-Read Great Britain. Again, I’d seen the play but it was a long long time ago. Why did I want to read it again? Because it’s based on a real story (like our play) and had to be quite brave and clever to not get sued. From the acknowledgements section at the beginning of the playtext: “…particular credit should be given to Nick Hytner, who held his nerve by rehearsing this play in secret, and opened it, without the benefit of previews, immediately after the court verdict in the Operation Weeting phone hacking trial.” Rumour has it that Richard Bean actually wrote two different endings (which the cast had to rehearse) because they just didn’t know how the real-life trial would go and they needed to be able to respond accordingly. There is much inspiration to be found in this process.

-Watched the documentary about Bill Cosby by the BBC. The BBC were very clever with this. Cosby’s trial ended in a mistrial – the jury couldn’t make a decision, so… he’s innocent (as we all are) until proven guilty. The documentary therefore could not make Cosby look guilty because then it’s defamation and they’d likely get sued. So, the documentary is basically just a timeline of events. This lack of a view point is very different from most of the documentaries I’ve seen lately which definitely do let you know how they feel e.g. How to Make a Murderer or Black Fish (if you haven’t seen it YOU MUST, but not on a date, it’s def not a date movie). There is a trial in the musical that we’re writing. Do we just present facts or do we have a point of view that we want to put forward? I know I just said that the BBC Cosby doc was completely objective but is that ever really completely possible? Someone is always editing the material; making choices about what to include and what not… there’s always a filter, right? Well, whether it’s possible or not I guess objectivity is something you can AIM for; hope to achieve. The question is really: IS objectivity/no view point what we want?

-Possibly found a framework to hang the rest of the musical on. POSSIBLY. It might be extremely wrong but at the moment I am running with it and not looking back.

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-Wrote a scene that sets up this framework.

-Let go of the original narrative of the piece. It’s funny because I didn’t know that I was holding onto it until I let it go (clicheed as that sounds!). Things seem a lot more open now, changeable; I’m ready to rip things up and sew things back together.

-Listened to Motown music. These in particular:

 

 

-Listened to music about race. About being Black. About being a Black man today. A Black man today in America. Fav here:

-Rehearsed my Edinburgh show! Come on down if you’re in the area… Lists for the End of the World

So all in all it’s been an ok month I guess – lessoned learned, some decisions made, bits of inspiration found… bring on the next.

xx

In the Eye of The Beholder

I smooth my scruffy hair down.
I replace my sneakers for black suede heels.
Swap skinny jeans for tailored trousers and baggy t-shirt for crisp white shirt.
Today I am a receptionist.

And when the first client approaches me my Irish twang has somehow become more RP. I smile more than I usually smile. There is no sarcasm and there are no jokes.

BBC Subconsciously, I hold ideas/images about who a receptionist is and I use them, reflect them back to the client because more than likely he holds them too.
I’m just temping here and I want the client to believe I am a “real” receptionist, a “good” receptionist not a playwright faking it.

It’s all just semiotics I guess.

I watched Three Girls (the BBC drama based on the Rochdale paedophile ring) the other week. It’s not an easy watch but one that I would highly recommend. From it, two things really stood out to me:

1) That we can look at the same image/person/narrative and see completely different things. The image is the same but we, the viewer, is not. One person will look at a mouthy, working class 12-year-old girl in a sexual health clinic asking for condoms to have sex with her older boyfriend and think – slut. Another person will look at that same girl and see a vulnerable child being abused. This has absolutely nothing to do with that girl, the picture or the narrative – it’s us, the audience and our pre-existing attitudes that create this meaning.

2) There are good and bad victims; credible and un-credible ones. Well, I mean there aren’t, there are just victims BUT we the audience (or the jury) are more likely to believe one victim over another. In cases of sexual assault (like the Rochdale case) we are more likely to believe the girl who cries and who “looks” traumatised. We (generalising of course) are less likely to believe the coarse, obnoxious girl who brags about her other sexual exploits.

In Three Girls two victims are used as witnesses but one, even though she really wants go to trial and speak out, is rejected because she is not a “good” victim – she does not help the narrative that the lawyers/child protection services wish to create nor will she meet the view of what the (majority) of the jury believe a victim looks like, acts like, sounds like.

She doesn’t get her day in court because of semiotics? Because of the pre-existing ideas/attitudes that the jury/audience/we all hold?
That does not seem right…

A play that looks at these ideas SO excellently is Scarborough by Fiona Evans. If you haven’t seen it then skip this paragraph because **SPOILERS**. In short, it’s the story of a 15-year-old and their teacher on an illicit weekend away together. You watch the same exact story twice but the first time the 15-year-old is male and the teacher female, the second time the genders are swapped. For me, the play is all about what’s going on inside the audience and how they read these two scenes differently – most people laugh and enjoy the first scenario, the boy is even seen as a hero but when it’s reversed we see abuse/or maybe we just see a slut – the audience’s sexism is exposed.

So…. in terms of the content of our musical…

Lawyers knowingly use semiotics and the jury’s prejudices to win cases.
Celebrities create themselves to better sell their products to us.
Journalists pick and choose the angle to place on their stories to create more exciting/sellable articles.
On twitter we retweet and retweet these constructed narratives.
On facebook we create ones about ourselves.
We all do it in all the time, some of us more consciously than others.
And we all consume these narratives too, again some with more knowing than others.

So maybe this musical is about shining a light on how easily we are misled? How readily we follow the lies, allow our attitudes/stereotypes/pre-conceptions to be manipulated and abused? How we allow there to be “good” or a “bad” victims because we do not stop and think hang on am I being a bit sexist or a bit racist, a bit elitist or maybe a bit homophobic here?

And what better way to explore this than through constructing another narrative – a narrative about narratives?

Laters xxx