FANNY Company Invites Women Musicians to Take Part in 'A Noble Call'

This is derived from the tradition of calling on guests at a party to share a song, a poem or to respond to the mood of the day.

By: May. 17, 2024
FANNY Company Invites Women Musicians to Take Part in 'A Noble Call'
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The company of the world premiere production of FANNY - a new comedy by Calum Finlay centring on the life of Fanny Mendelssohn - have issued an invitation to women musicians to take part in The Irish Tradition of the Noble Call, which is derived from the tradition of calling on guests at a party to share a song, a poem or to respond to the mood of the day.

During the run of the show at The Watermill from Thursday 23 May to Saturday 15 June, musicians of all levels, backgrounds and styles are asked to sign-up to play a piece of music at the end of the show each night to continue the work of all the incredible women musicians before them. For more information, and for the form to sign-up, visit the Watermill website or click  here.)

Director Katie-Ann McDonough explains, “FANNY is about women artists and musicians. We have a stage, so let's give it to them! I'm very excited to see all the different women musicians who will join us at the Watermill and share their talents with us and the audiences that come to see Fanny. This noble call is a tribute to the incredible legacy of women in music and a celebration of the vibrant, ongoing contributions of women artists today.”

Produced by RJG Productions and The Watermill Theatre and directed by Katie-Ann McDonough, this fun and irreverent new comedy celebrates classical music and - at last - recognises the work of a composer overlooked for her sex.

...who?

You'll probably know her younger brother, Felix Mendelssohn, from 19th century smash hits like The Wedding March. He was the Cliff Richard of his day and was even asked to play at a personal concert for Queen Victoria. But only if he played her favourite piece of music ever, a song called Italien. However, we now know that Felix was forced to admit to the Queen that, in actuality, the piece had been composed by his sister, Fanny, and simply published under his name.

FANNY imagines that Fanny intercepts a letter addressed to ‘F. Mendelssohn' inviting Felix to play for Queen Victoria. As the true composer of Italien, she decides to hide the letter, don her brother's clothes, and take his place at the palace…cueing a race across Europe and a furious Felix.

Joining Charlie Russell (The Goes Wrong Show - BBC, The Play That Goes Wrong - West End & Broadway) as ‘Fanny', Corey Montague-Sholay (Bacon – Finborough Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe, Riverside Studios, Bristol Old Vic & Soho Playhouse, New York, Wendy & Peter Pan – Leeds Playhouse) as ‘Felix', Harry Kershaw (The Play That Goes Wrong – West End, Peter Pan Goes Wrong – West End & Broadway) as ‘Paul', Kim Ismay (Elf The Musical – West End, Wicked – West End, UK & International Tour) as ‘Lea', George Howard (Sherwood – BBC, Witness for the Prosecution – London County Hall) as ‘Willhelm' and Jade May Lin (professional debut) as ‘Clara'. 

Joining McDonough on the creative team are Yshani Perinanayagam (Emilia – West End, Wolf Witch Giant Fairy – Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House) as Composer & Musical Director, HJB Casting as Casting Director, Sophia Pardon (The Wizard of Oz – Watermill Theatre, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying – Southwark Playhouse) as Set & Costume Designer, David Howe (The Mind Mangler – West End, Off-Broadway & UK Tour, A Comedy About A Bank Robbery – West End & UK Tour) as Lighting Designer, Thomas André Wasley (Touching The Void – Hong Kong Arts Festival & West End, Wolf Witch Giant Fairy – Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House) as Sound Designer, Hannah Gilbert as Costume Supervisor, Olivia Wolfenden as Company Stage Manager on Book and Sophy Johnston as Assistant Stage Manager.

Director Katie-Ann McDonough said, "FANNY is a story that needs to be told and I'm excited to bring it to life with this incredible cast and creative team. Fanny Mendelssohn's story has been waiting in the background for far too long and I can't wait for audiences to experience it with us."

Producer Rebecca Gwyther said, “We could not have hoped for a more symphonic team to bring FANNY to life at the Watermill Theatre. After years of development, we're ready for audiences to experience Fanny's story in this imaginative comedy that's certain to strike a chord."

Joint CEOs of The Watermill, Artistic Director Paul Hart, Executive Director Claire Murray, said, “We're delighted to be collaborating with Rebecca and the team to stage the world premiere of FANNY at the Watermill Theatre.  We think audiences will love this hilarious new play inspired by the remarkable truth of who actually composed Felix Mendelssohn's greatest hits!”



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