BWW Interviews: Stiles and Drewe On SINGULAR SENSATIONS, BETTY BLUE EYES & SOAPDISH!
Guys, welcome back to BWW:UK. Tell us a little bit about what theatre fans can expect from your show at Singular Sensations (Charing Cross Theatre, Sunday March 9th) in terms of repertoire.
We were approached by Ed Seckerson, who we have known from way back when he hosted a BBC radio show called Stage And Screen. Ed asked us if we would be happy to do an onstage interview at Charing Cross Theatre, illustrated with a few songs, talking about our careers. As we have been very busy on a few new shows recently we thought it would be nice to include a song or two from these, rather than our usual repertoire. So, although there will be a song from Just So and Mary Poppins, we are also including songs from Betty Blue Eyes, Goldilocks And The Three Bears, and our newest shows Travels With My Aunt and Soapdish.
And tell us a bit about your (stellar) performers. Did you see any of the previous Singular Sensations performances?
We went to see the adorable Jenna Russell when she was interviewed by Ed, and we intend to return to see the equally adorable Gavin Creel in April. We are delighted that, for our 'in depth grilling', we are being joined by Caroline Sheen, Michael Jibson, Cassie Compton and Anna Jane Casey who I'm sure are all well known to your readers.
Caroline was one of our Marys in Poppins, and has just been seen in Putting It Together; her husband Michael was the star of Our House in the West End and is now known worldwide as the unpleasant factory foreman in the movie of Les Miserables; Cassie first became known to millions as Sharon Osborne's little Cassie in the first X Factor, and has since appeared in Les Miserables, Wicked, Dirty Dancing and, most recently, American Psycho; and AJ is currently appearing in Billy Elliot but has also recently been seen as the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot. They have all been friends of ours for a long time and between them have participated in many of our workshops and demo recordings.
Betty Blue Eyes is now going out on a UK tour - how different is it from the West End run?
Ron, Dan, George and I compared notes after Betty Blue Eyes closed in London and had a few ideas that we thought could improve and streamline the story a little, so, when Daniel Buckroyd approached Cameron about launching a tour, it gave us a chance to implement a few little changes. We have actually cut one song from the show but otherwise I don't think fans of the piece will notice any significant alterations.
It is a smaller cast and, though not an actor/musician show as such, some of them will play instruments at a few judiciously chosen moments to augment the band. The sensibility of the show is much more in the 'make do and mend' ethos that pervaded the country after the Second World War. We have pretty much left them to it in Colchester but, now that Ron and Dan have arrived from Los Angeles, we are all going up to watch some run-throughs this week, which we are very excited about. Having attended the read through on the first day of rehearsals I think the cast, headed up by Amy Booth Steel and Haydn Oakley, are going to create something rather special.
And what's next for you? What can you tell us about Soapdish?
We have had a rather prolific writing period. We have just finished a first draft of The Wind In The Willows with Julian Fellowes, which is is now in pre-production. Soapdish has been written over a longer period with Robert Harling, who wrote the screenplay. We have held three or four readings and workshops, most recently in New York with Kristin Chenoweth, Chris Sieber and Beth Leavel, and we hope to have more news about a full production (in the USA) as soon as everyone's schedule permits.
Travels With My Aunt, based on the novel by Graham Greene, is half-written and next week we go into the studio to record most of the Act One songs. We have written this with our dear Betty Blue Eyes collaborators Ron Cowen and Dan Lipman.
To cap it all off we're writing the third and final musical in a 'trilogy of trios'. All three are 50-minute children's shows commissioned by the Singapore Repertory Company. We have already written and staged The Three Little Pigs and Goldilocks And The Three Bears, and are now working on The Three Billy Goats Gruff which opens in Singapore next year.
Singular Sensations with Stiles and Drewe is at the Charing Cross Theatre this Sunday, March 9th.