Podcast taking an in depth look behind the scenes of the West End musicals released on the Stage Door label. Speaking with the cast and creatives involved in bringing those productions to the stage.
003 - 'SOMEONE LIKE YOU' (Strand Theatre 1990) - Featuring Dee Shipman, Dave Willetts, Petula Clark
In this special episode of the Stage Door podcast the spotlight falls on 'Someone Like You', the 1989 / 1990 British musical.
'Someone Like You' is a musical with lyrics by Dee Shipman, music by Petula Clark and a book by Robin Midgley and Fay Weldon.
Based on a concept developed by Clark over a period of several years, it is set in West Virginia immediately after the end of the Civil War. Originally entitled 'Amen', it was conceived as a dark view of the difficulties Southerners faced dealing with carpetbaggers during the Reconstruction period, and also dealt with the problems of morphine-addicted Confederate soldiers returning home. It lost many of its serious overtones as the project evolved; Clark and Shipman's original book was revised substantially by Weldon, who also contributed the new title.
Directed by Midgley, the musical premiered on October 25, 1989 at the Cambridge Arts Theatre in Cambridge, and in his review in the Cambridge Evening News, Alan Kersey wrote, "Petula Clark proved last night at the world premiere of 'Someone Like You' that she can still work wonders both on stage and in the tough real world of show business." The production toured the UK until December 9 1989.
On March 22, 1990, 'Someone Like You' transferred to the Strand Theatre in London's West End. In addition to Clark, it starred Dave Willetts ('The Phantom of the Opera', 'Les Miserables') as the Major and Clive Carter as Kane. Reviews were mixed, although most critics praised Clark's performance and her contribution to the score.
Due to financial difficulties faced by producer Harold Fielding, all his assets were seized, and the show closed without warning after the April 25 performance. Although an original cast album was never released at the time, Clark's recordings of several of the songs have been issued on various CDs throughout the ensuing years.
The programme features interviews with Dee Shipman and Dave Willetts and an archive interview with Petula Clark from March 1990. The programme also features excerpts from previously unheard rehearsal takes performed by Dave Willetts.
Produced and presented by Tim Hutton for Stage Door Records with thanks to John Craig at First Night Records, Dee Shipman, Paul Jacobs and Dave Willetts.
First Night Records
Someone Like You EP (First Night Records)
Dee Shipman - She Isn't Me (Stage Door Records)
Steve Barton - Only For A While (Stage Door Records)
Dave Willetts - Once In A Lifetime (Stage Door Records)
002 - 'TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES' (Savoy Theatre 1999) - Featuring Stephen Edwards, Justin Fleming, Karen Hebden, Poppy Tierney, Philippa Healey
Stage Door's podcast in which we take an in depth look behind the scenes at the West End musicals we've released on CD. In this episode the spotlight falls on ‘Tess Of The D'Urbervilles’, the 1999 West End musical adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic novel.
Featuring music by Stephen Edwards and a libretto by Justin Fleming, 'Tess' opened at the Sheffield Lyceum on September 6th 1999 and was declared a "landmark in musical theatre" receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from the critics. Following a brief UK tour, the production transferred to the West End opening at The Savoy on November 10th, 1999 and was universally damned by the critics, one reviewer sighting the show as "the last great musical flop of the Millennium".
'Tess' closed on January 15th 2000 after just 77 performances. 15 years after 'Tess' closed we look back at the ambitious through-sung drama and explore the journey the production underwent during its development. To reflect on the production we're joined by the composer Stephen Edwards, lyricist Justin Fleming, director and adapter Karen Louise Hebden and both actresses who would alternate the role of Tess; Poppy Tierney and Philippa Healey.
The programme also features excerpts from the previously unheard live recording of the production recorded on the press night at the Savoy Theatre and featuring Poppy Tierney as Tess.
Podcast produced and presented by Tim Hutton for Stage Door Records
'TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES' - ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING
Now available on Stage Door Records. For more information visit:
001 - 'OUT OF THE BLUE' (Shaftesbury Theatre 1994) Feat. Shun Tokura, David Gilmore, Greg Ellis, Meredith Braun, Paulette Ivory
Stage Door's podcast in which we take an in depth look behind the scenes at the West End musicals we've released on CD. For our first edition the spotlight falls on ‘Out Of The Blue’ an ambitious sung through musical drama set against the dramatic back drop of post-war Japan. The musical centred on the characters John Marhsall an American POW and his Japanese wife Hideko in the aftermath of the atomic bomb dropping on Nagasaki in August 1945.
With music by leading Japanese composer Shun Ichi Tokura and libretto by Paul Sand, the show opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre on November 23rd and closed on December 10th 1994 after just 20 performances and largely negative reviews. However the show boasted one of most illustrious casts assembled on a West End stage at that time and included such leading performers as Meredith Braun, Greg Ellis, Simon Burke, Michael McCarthy, David Burt, Paulette Ivory, James Graeme and Anna Jane Casey. Seeing as it’s exactly 20 years since the show opened and closed in London, what better excuse to celebrate the work than by delving a bit deeper into its development and speaking with the creatives that were involved in bringing the production to the London stage.
To reflect on the show and explore the journey the production underwent from its original concept to staging, we're joined by 'Out Of The Blue' composer Shun Tokura, director David Gilmore and performers Meredith Braun, Paulette Ivory and Greg Ellis. The programme also features excerpts from the London cast album, including a never before heard cut song; 'Shock to the System', taken from the 'Out Of The Blue' workshop.
Produced and presented by Tim Hutton for Stage Door Records
For more information about the 'Out Of The Blue' London Cast Album Visit: http://www.stagedoorrecords.com/stage9025.html