Back in my final year at drama school in 2012, we were given a module where we had to create our own piece of musical theatre and put it on as our final performance of our degree.
Frankly, this whole concept filled me with a fear that I can only liken to a genuine concern that you aren’t going to make it to the bathroom in time – uncomfortable and with a real potential for personal mortification. I’d be happy to perform, but I wouldn’t have a clue where to start writing something to be performed by my peers and viewed (and graded!) by our teachers and friends – there was just no way.
Luckily, my very good friend Scott is an incredible writer, and he had already started working on an amazing piece which he pitched to us, and we immediately jumped at – and we began some of the most hilarious and hard working few weeks of our course as we learnt all the material (some of which was being changed or re-written overnight by Scott and his incredible musical writing partner, Claire!) and started putting the show together!
When it came to the performance date, we all knew that we were part of something really really special – it had become so much more than just a devised piece of musical theatre, this was a proper show, and a show that we all felt really passionately about – we just knew it was something special.
Very excitingly, we were right! Only a few months after graduating, we were back in rehearsals with an updated script and score ready for the London debut of “Freak Show”! These few weeks rehearsing and performing this show again were incredible – memories of our train breaking down half way between Glasgow and London, taking a HUGE table on the London Underground and getting the feedback in reviews that we knew the show deserved was just so so exciting – and the added bonus that we were doing all of this with our best friends was incredible!
Since then, Scott and Claire have gone from strength to strength. They have now officially formed a company, Noisemaker Productions, and have written much much more together, including the highly acclaimed “Little Red and the Wolf” which has just finished it’s run at Dundee Rep Theatre and is nominated for “Best Production for Young People” at the 2016 CATS Awards, “The Girl Who”, which is the world’s first multi-path, choose-your-own-adventure musical which is currently in development with the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in New York, and, arguably their biggest success yet, Forest Boy.
“Hauntingly powerful music. Their goal to create and develop fresh and innovative music theatre has certainly been realised.” The Herald
Forest Boy is based on the true story of Ray, a boy who turned up in Berlin with the phrase “I’m all alone in the world. I don’t know who I am. Please help me.” claiming he had been living in the forest with his father for the past 5 years and he had headed to Berlin following his father’s death. He immediately became a news sensation, with people all over the world sharing his story. When I first saw Forest Boy, I knew that this would be a huge success for Scott and Claire – it is so fantastically written and it really makes you want to know what happened at the end (I’m not going to say on here – you’ll have to hope it comes to a theatre near you soon!)
The show has won several awards, including the prestigious S&S new musical theatre award – a ceremony I was thrilled to be at and I’m not ashamed at all to say that I cried. Scott and Claire have worked so hard to make this show something truly spectacular and each new development of the show that I see, I can’t help but be amazed at the creativity and individuality that my very talented friends come up with!
“The Future of British Musical Theatre is in safe hands.” Broadway Baby.
“A simultaneously earthy and soaringly fantastical production. Mature, emotive songs performed with great harmonies” Three Weeks.
Now, Noisemaker Productions is going on a new journey – Forest Boy has just won the Next Link Award having been selected from over 900 entries from all over the world to be presented at the New York Musical Festival 2016! How incredible is that?!?!
Honestly, pride just doesn’t cut it. These are two such amazing and genuine people, and the material they come up with is beautiful, original and so individual – I guarantee it is nothing like anything you will have heard before – if you like musical theatre, or in fact, even if you don’t, you need to have a listen – it is just beautiful!!! (Have a listen to their soundcloud – trust me, you won’t regret it! “Master Of The Land” is my favourite – have a listen!)
This Next Link Award will give Noisemaker, and Forest Boy, huge recognition on an international stage, as well as getting all their amazing work out there and heard by the right people to increase it’s well deserved success!
“A haunting score, this is a tantalising story told with total commitment” British Theatre Guide.
“A musical with huge promise, and it’s a pleasure to be able to watch it go from strength to strength” Musical Theatre Review.
Noisemaker have started a crowdfunder page to help them taking Forest Boy on this new adventure, from Scotland to New York, with rewards such as a day with Scott and Claire (this could be a songwriting workshop or Q&A etc), the pre-release album of Forest Boy (which I CAN’T WAIT to get my hands on!), signed Forest Boy merchandise, a Thank You from the social media accounts and much more. If you fancy getting behind some incredible new musical theatre, and my amazing friends, please do head on over to the crowdfunder page for a bit more information and help this incredible show get to the next level it deserves! 🙂
I honestly can’t put into words how proud I am of Scott and Claire, and I can’t wait to see what they get up to next!