Original Live Cast Recording of THESE TREES ARE MADE OF BLOOD Out Now
THESE TREES ARE MADE OF BLOOD, a new play about Argentina's Dirty War, premiered in The Little at Southwark Playhouse in April 2015 to sold out audiences and rave reviews. A limited edition cast recording of the songs from the show was recorded live at Southwark Playhouse on a sunny bank holiday afternoon in April 2015 in between shows and is now available for purchase!
During rehearsals for the show, composer/lyricist Darren Clark worked closely with talented actor/musicians Anne-Marie Piazza, Eilon Morris, Rachel Dawson, Josh Sneesby and Neil Kelso to arrange the songs.
The stellar cast gave their time and talent to the recordings, featuring Val Jones as Gloria, a Mother in search of her 'Disappeared' daughter, with Charlotte Worthing as her daughter Ana, and Greg Barnett as The General. The cast also features actor-musicians Josh Sneesby, Anne-Marie Piazza, Eilon Morris and Rachel Dawson, cabaret artist Alexander Luttley and illusionist/pianist Neil Kelso.
The recordings were made by sound designer and recording engineer David Gregory and mixed and mastered by composer Darren Clark. A percentage of all profits from sales of the CD will go to the Asociación Madres de plaza de Mayo whose members still fight for justice in Argentina today.
THESE TREES ARE MADE OF BLOOD is written by Paul Jenkins from an original concept by Amy Draper, with music and lyrics by Darren Clark. The Southwark Playhouse run was directed by Amy Draper, with design by Georgia Lowe, lighting by Sherry Coenen, sound by David Gregory and videography by Wayne Eagles.
During the 70s and 80s, Argentina was locked in a period of state terrorism, with a military dictatorship waging war on suspected left-wing political sympathizers. Thousands of citizens were "disappeared"; seized by the authorities and never heard from again. Set in a timeless Buenos Aires cabaret club before, during and after Argentina's Dirty War, These Trees are Made of Blood tells the story of one Mother's search for her daughter, and a Nation's search for answers.
It is estimated that more than 30,000 citizens were kidnapped during the military dictatorship from 1976 to 1983, with most of the victims never being found. One of the most prominent action groups became the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, who every Thursday since 1977 have peacefully demonstrated in the Plazo de Mayo, the central square near the government palace in Buenos Aires. With their now iconic white headscarves, the group of mothers have become known around the world for their solidarity, and continuing search for answers.
The show will be seen on stage again in 2017.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:
Paul Jenkins | Writer - Credits include: Natural Selection at Theatre 503, First Person Shooter for the Birmingham Rep, Island Hopping with the Belarus Free Theatre and Red Star Newport for Radio 4. Paul lectures in scriptwriting at Bath Spa University and is researching writing for interactive theatre thanks to a Creative Wales Award.
Darren Clark | Music and Lyrics - As a composer & lyricist Darren's recent commissions include: Fantastic Mr Fox (for Nuffield Theatre 2016), Scarecrows Wedding (Edinburgh Festival, UK Tour, Leicester Square Theatre for Scamp Theatre 2016), The Little Gardener (Lyric Hammersmith for How it Ended Productions 2016), These Trees Are Made of Blood (Southwark Playhouse for Theatre Bench 2015), Day of the Living (We Light Up the House 2015). Darren is an associate artist with Paper Balloon Theatre Company and has written the music & lyrics for all of their shows to date including national tours of The Grumpiest Boy in the World and Once Upon a Snowflake. Darren is currently working on several new projects including the folk musical The Wicker Husband with Rhys Jennings and Abolition with Linda Walton among others. Darren's pop folk songs have been broadcast on BBC Introducing and he is a member of the BML Advanced Composer & Lyricist Workshop. His musical theatre songs have won awards in several competitions.
Amy Draper | Director - Amy is currently a National Theatre Connections Director. She will soon direct Much Ado About Nothing for Iris Theatre at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden. Directing credits include Macbeth, These Trees are Made of Blood, Usagi Yojimbo and Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World (Southwark Playhouse); Life on the Refrigerator Door (Yard Theatre); The Door (Park Theatre) and Angel Cake (Camden People's Theatre). She was recently the Assistant Director on The Famous Victories of Henry V (RSC).
ABOUT THE CAST:
Val Jones | Gloria - Theatre includes: Miramar (Triongl), 'Tis a Family Affair (Sherman Theatre), Who Killed the Elephant (Intangible Studio) and Lady of Letters (Theatr Bara Caws). Film includes The Followers (Iris Films), Under Milk Wood (dFati fFilms)
Charlotte Worthing | Ana - Theatre includes: The Wind in The Willows (Open Book Theatre), The Just So Stories (National Tour and Pleasance, Edinburgh) The Miniaturists, Word:Play4 and The Occupied Times (Arcola Theatre), Power, Glory (The BikeShed Theatre), PLAYlist, Festopia (Theatre503) and Liquorice and Smoke Rings (The New Wolsey). Radio includes: Chain Gang, The Private Patient (BBC Radio 4 and 7)
Greg Barnett | The General - Theatre includes: Therese Raquin (Park Theatre), The School for Scandal (Theatre Royal Bath), Swallows and Amazons (Vaudeville Theatre), 20th Century Boy (New Wolsey Theatre), Pushing Up Poppies (Theatre 503), Spend Spend Spend (The Watermill and UK Tour), Zorro (Garrick Theatre), Mamma Mia (Prince of Wales Theatre). Television includes: Doctors (BBC).
Anne-Marie Piazza | Actor-musician - Theatre credits include: Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, These Trees Are Made of Blood (Southwark Playhouse); Christmas Carol (Rose Theatre, Kingston) Day Of The Living (We Light Up The House); Twelfth Night, Richard III, (Iris Theatre); Dickens' Ghosts (Cheltenham Playhouse); Snow Spider (OvalHouse); What Every Woman Knows (Finborough); Alice in Wonderland (Nuffield); Oh What A Lovely War (Haymarket Basingstoke); Hanging Around (The National/Kneehigh); 2011-2013 Musical director for Sixteen Feet Productions. Audio: regular Annette Turner in The Archers; plays for BBC Radio Drama; audiobooks for Naxos, Rushforth Media & the RNIB. Feature Film: The Promoter
Josh Sneesby | Actor-musician - Theatre credits include: One Man Two Guvnors (Adelphi Theatre and Theatre Royal Haymarket); The Wind in the Willows and The Legend of King Arthur (York Theatre Royal); The Comedy Of Errors (National Theatre); Bluebird (Bedlam Theatre, Edinburgh); A Festival Guide (South Hill Park); Broken News (Pleasance Theatre). He is an associate artist with the National Youth Theatre, and with the REP Company: As You Like It, Back and White and The Olympics Team Welcoming Ceremony. His Television and Film credits include: Atlantis (BBC); Paranormal Activity (Paramount Pictures); The Contract (Scanner-Rhodes Productions).
Eilon Morris | Actor-musician - Eilon is a percussionist and theatre practitioner. He is an associate director of DUENDE, and has worked with OBRA Theatre Co. as a performer and composer since 2011. He is also an associate artist of Whitestone Arts and research associate of the Centre for Psychophysical Performance Research. In Australia Eilon was a founding member of the Quiddity Ensemble (2001-2004) directed by John Britton and the Butterfly Club Pocket Theatre (1998-2002). Other companies Eilon has worked with more recently include BBC Radio Drama, Dirty Laundry, Encounter Productions, Unfinished Business, IOU, Chol and music groups Stems and Kelter.
Rachel Dawson, Actor-musician - Theatre credits include: Oliver (Watermill, Newbury), Will Harvey's War (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham), Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaur (UK Tour), Ernest and the Pale Moon (UK Tour), Jack and the Giant (The Theatre, Chipping Norton), Cider with Rosie (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham), Tom's Midnight Garden (Bloomsbury Theatre, London), Twelfth Night (Minack Theatre, Cornwall), and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Queens Theatre, Hornchurch). Film and Televison includes: Muse at the Brit Awards, Olly Murs at the Royal Variety Performance and Michael Buble on Strictly Come Dancing.
Neil Kelso | Cabaret Artist & Illusion Designer - Neil Kelso is an award-winning cabaret performer, actor-musician and illusion designer. Work includes: The Mad Hatter in Edinburgh Magic Festival's Wonderland dinner shows, a piano recital of Rachmaninoff's Piano at Holbourne Recital, and performances with his jazz trio at the world-famous Concorde Club. Radio includes the 2014 BBC War Years radio documentary. His first book Astonishing! about the science of illusion and the psychology of live performance is available from Amazon.
Alexander Luttley | Cabaret Artist - Alexander is best known for creating the character Pi the Mime for which he was nominated Best Burlesque in the 2015 London Cabaret Awards. Theatre credits include Storyteller in Children of Eden, Nerissa in Merchant of Venice and Policeman in Pirates of Penzance.
Producer Jim Zalles launched Theatre Bench in October 2012 to support the development of new works in theatre and dance. We produced the world premiere of Craig Adams & Ian Watson's LIFT at Soho Theatre in February 2013. Theatre Bench also produced the one-man show Our Friends The Enemy at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, along with several standalone cabarets at the St James Studio Theatre. In 2014, Theatre Bench produced the critically-acclaimed Carthage and Thérèse Raquin at Finborough Theatre and co-produced Drunk at the Bridewell Theatre with the McOnie Company. 'Thérèse Raquin later transferred to the Park Theatre. We also launched the album Rush of Life by Julie Atherton, featuring new songs written for her by Dougal Irvine, Benedict, George Maguire, Craig Adams and Lance Horne. In 2015 Theatre Bench produced the world premiere of These Trees Are Made of Blood at Southwark Playhouse, a political cabaret about the Dirty War in 1970s Argentina. We also co-produced Teddy by Tristan Bernays, with music by Dougal Irvine, also at the Southwark Playhouse and Claustrophobia at The Hope Theatre Islington. This year we will be producing Every Seven Years by Ben Fensome & Charlotte Baker as part of the Illuminate Festival at New Wimbledon Studio, and co-producing Brink by Brad Birch at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond.