Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Suits you, Sir

As I made my way to Old Street on a rush hour tube this morning I'm pleased to report that I saw a lot of men in suits. I like suits. I find the aesthetic of a suit greatly appealing. A man wearing a suit, one assumes, has made a bit of an effort and takes pride in the way he looks. Everyone knows that all men look better in suits. Unless, of course, they're footballers when they often look a little like they've been rifling through their Dad's wardrobe. I'm not quite sure why that should be...

Of course, the criticism which gets levied at suits is that they don't allow for a great deal of expression, which is why you end up with these ghastly dress down Fridays when men, bereft of suits, get an opportunity to show quite how awful their dress sense is with a riot of ill-fitting chinos and button-down Ted Baker shirts.

Thing is, even the plainest suit can be accessorised to show a great deal of character and individuality. Today I saw a bloke in a very sharp suit with a fine set of dreadlocks, another was wearing a suit which could have come straight from the early 1960s and someone else was dressed in a three-piece suit with a cloth cap and a wooden beaded bracelet. Nobody could argue that they didn't all look smart.

Today was essentially a day of meetings. One was with a TV production company about a musical drama, and one was with Uncle Archie about the documentary project we're working on, which kicks off again next week. I was presented with a birthday cake. We drank tea and nattered. A perfect way to run a meeting!

I am still stumbling my way through the song Letters from Brass. On and on it goes. I think the cat is now sufficiently out of the bag for me to be honest and announce that I have been busily formatting scores from the show because Brass is being published by Rogers and Hammerstein Theatricals, which is a huge honour and something which fills me with a great sense of excitement and pride. So, if any one reading this blog belongs to a theatre group who like performing musicals, then you can now perform Brass, you lucky buggers, you!

Speaking of musicals, we trundled off to St James' Theatre this evening to see this year's NYMT new commission. Yes, folks, it's almost exactly a year since Brass was first performed.

This year's show is called Prodigy and it's absolutely bloody marvellous! Aside from this fact, it is the antithesis of Brass: light, frothy, laugh-out-loud funny with music which crackles like bursts of static on a tram line. Jake and Pippa, who wrote the show, are such a talented team. They respect and revere musical theatre... and it shows in the brilliance of what they write. Jake's words are witty and pithy, Pippa's melodies are surprising, beautiful and chirpy. That girl has perfected the art of the key change!

I won't go into details about the plot. You'll have to go and see it (before Saturday) if you want to know what happens. Essentially Prodigy tells the story of a group of young classical musicians who have been entered into an X-Factor-style reality show. It's a very clever premise for an ensemble show with scope for brilliant visual and musical pastiche. The cast were wonderful and it was great to see so many of the former Brass team acting, making music, show calling and working back stage - all with great aplomb. Top marks have to go to the young Welsh lad (from the Rhondda) who plays the TV show's presenter, who made the audience howl with laughter. Next highest marks go to the moment when a flute gets broken in half on stage. It's the best use of a flute I've ever seen in a show (although begrudgingly I will acknowledge that the lass who played the lead actress (brilliantly) also played a mean flute (if you like that kind of thing!)

Top marks to NYMT... and to Jake and Pippa. Another theatrical triumph.


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  2. Da iawn Callum on your debut performance in the west end, Great write up, You make all the family proud to be welsh, Love Barrie & Carol x

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