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IN THE WINGS: Series 2 In conversation with Robert J. Sherman

IN THE WINGS: Series 2Following the success of the first series, In the Wings is returning from Friday 25th September for a second glorious series.

IN THE WINGS is a series of human-interest interviews and live entertainment hosted at the Arts Theatre, London with composers, writers and creatives of shows that are postponed due to COVID-19. In the first step towards theatres’ return those composers and writers are given a platform on which to showcase their work.

Series One of In the Wings aired through June and July. With over 40,000 views across the series, it featured the first live performances in a theatre since the theatre industry closed down. Watch it online here

Series Two will air weekly from Friday September 25th at 7.30pm on the In the Wings YouTube channel. The series is free to watch for an unlimited time.

Features musical direction by Henry Brennan, visual design by Justin Williams, lighting by Ben Jacobs, and casting by Kelly Everitt.

Filmed in accordance with social distancing guidelines, the programme will focus on six postponed musicals; The Wicker Husband (by Darren Clark and Rhys Jennings); You and I (by Cordelia O’Driscoll and Tom Williams); Millennials (Elliot Clay); Terror at the Sweetshop (by Gavin Brock and Nichola Rivers); Plan Bea (by Suzy Davies, Verity Quade, Jessie Reeves, Rosanna McElroy, and Deborah Gersohn), and The Rise (by Graham Lappin).

Hosted by Robert J. Sherman
Composer and lyricist Robert J. Sherman (Love Birds, Bumblescratch, A Spoonful of Sherman) will interview a creative from each of the shows on each episode, discussing the cancelled shows, the industry shutdown, and what the future might hold for their productions.

Every episode also includes a variety of performances of songs from those shows, as well as already well-known musicals. The West End cast is made up of: Bree Smith (The Book of Mormon, Evita); Hiba Elchikhe (Aladdin, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie); Rebecca McKinnis (Dear Evan Hansen, Everybody’s Talking about Jamie), and Oliver Savile (Wicked, Falsettos).

Each episode also features a performance by a 2020 Graduate. The Graduate cast is made up of: Nic Myers; Sabrina Basilé; Kayla Carter; Charlie Booker; Meesha Turner; and Caleb Lagayan.

Programme Schedule
FRIDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER AT 7:30PM – youtube.com/InTheWingsLive
EPISODE 1: THE WICKER HUSBAND, WITH RHYS JENNINGS (BOOK WRITER)
‘The Wicker Husband’ is a musical adaptation of a short story by Ursula Wills-Jones. The “Ugly Girl” has resigned herself to a life alone, without friends or a partner until the strange Old Basket Maker creates a wonderful husband for her. What ensues is a haunting, witty and beautiful tale of hope, cruelty and vengeance. Told through folk-inspired song and storytelling, at its heart the show explores the question: ‘What is true ugliness?’ The show uses life and larger than life-size puppetry, music inspired by the folk traditions of England and Ireland and traditional storytelling to tell its tale.

Music and Lyrics by Darren Clark; Book by Rhys Jennings.

FRIDAY 2ND OCTOBER AT 7:30PM – youtube.com/InTheWingsLive
EPISODE 2: YOU AND I, WITH CORDELIA O’DRISCOLL (COMPOSER)
What do you do when the world’s first super intelligent robot turns up at your door asking about the origins of the universe, karaoke and the meaning of porn? Fran is about to find out. ‘You and I’ follows the story of this aspiring musician as she learns to conquer fear, cope with loss and find her voice, all through her new friendship with a robot named Robert. With a highly original soulful folk score, this touching new musical comedy explores what it really means to be human.

Music and Lyrics by Cordelia O’Driscoll and Book by Tom Williams.

FRIDAY 9TH OCTOBER AT 7:30PM – youtube.com/InTheWingsLive
EPISODE 3: MILLENNIALS, WITH ELLIOT CLAY (COMPOSER)
‘Millennials’ is about extraordinarily ordinary people – the one walking down the street, the one staring into a mirror and the one with a secret. This powerful and uplifting collection of songs amplifies the lives, the losses and the frustrations of young people in the modern world. With music and lyrics by Elliot Clay, ‘Millennials’ runs the gamut of modern pop music and sends musical theatre hurtling through the 21st century.

Music and Lyrics by Elliot Clay.

FRIDAY 16TH OCTOBER AT 7:30PM – youtube.com/InTheWingsLive
EPISODE 4: TERROR AT THE SWEETSHOP, WITH GAVIN BROCK (COMPOSER)
Schoolchildren Oscar, Reese, Ishy and Emma investigate the mysterious disappearance of their beloved sweetshop owner Mr McNulty after he is replaced by the diabolical, child-hating Miss Primrose. With the help of a talking cat, a foul-smelling stink bomb and the world’s most explosive curry, the children vow to eviscerate the witch and save their local village from the most dangerous power the world has ever known. Shortlisted as a finalist for the Stiles and Drewe Mentorship Award 2018, ‘Terror at the Sweetshop’ is a funny and fast-paced family musical comedy featuring an upbeat, tuneful score inspired by gospel, soul and rock and roll.

Music and Lyrics by Gavin Brock; Book by Nichola Rivers.

FRIDAY 23RD OCTOBER AT 7:30PM – youtube.com/InTheWingsLive
EPISODE 5: PLAN BEA, WITH ROSANNA MCELROY (COMPOSER)
‘Plan Bea’ is a show for anyone who understands that life doesn’t always go to plan. Set in Stratford-upon-Avon and in the shadow of the Bard, the story transitions between the present day and the ‘90s. Obsessive planner Beatrice is 39 and had enough of this life. She’s ready to end it all, but Bea would not rest in peace if she left any mess behind. She determines to clear up every element of her existence; in doing so, she embarks upon an unexpected journey of self-discovery and liberation. Bea starts saying and doing all the things she never dared to. She faces the ghosts of the past, the hang-ups that have held her back and she puts her mistakes right. And she remembers her passions and friendships. With nothing to lose, life never looked so good. Will Bea still go through with her plan? Filled with humour and heart, ‘Plan Bea’ is ultimately about hope and how even in our darkest days we can find new ways forward and fresh dreams….and that perhaps Plan B was always meant to be.

Music by Suzy Davies, Verity Quade, Jessie Reeves and Rosanna McElroy; Book and Lyrics by Deborah Gersohn.

FRIDAY 30TH OCTOBER AT 7:30PM – youtube.com/InTheWingsLive
EPISODE 6: THE RISE, WITH GRAHAM LAPPIN (COMPOSER)
Set in Lancashire in 1894, this simple and heartfelt story about family, progress and the vital importance of passing on tradition charts one very significant day in the lives of the Roach family from Milbourne Hill. Baker Alfred and his two daughters Violet & Winifred lead us through the highs, lows, dreams and disappointments of working-class life. The rise of their daily bread, of the Tower at Blackpool and of the power of industry in the North West creates an atmospheric backdrop to unexpected events which threaten the Roach’s very livelihoods.

Manchester-based writer/composer Graham Lappin has crafted a pertinent and universal original story, blended with folk-inspired music to create a memorable, moving and ultimately hopeful musical.

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Graham Lappin.

Production Team
JUSTIN WILLIAMS – CO-PRODUCER AND VISUAL DESIGNER
Justin Williams is a graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. He has been nominated for seven Off-West End Awards for Best Set Designer, was a shortlisted finalist for Best Set Designer in the OFFIES 2020 and has trained with Punchdrunk at Fallow Cross. Credits include: Who Cares (Waterloo Vaults); Ben Hur (Barn Theatre); Soho Cinders (Charing Cross Theatre); Whistle Down the Wind (The Union Theatre); Brooklyn the Musical (UK and European Première, Greenwich Theatre); Seussical – The Musical (Southwark Playhouse); Section 2 (Bunker Theatre); The Giant Killers (UK Tour), and Fiver The Musical (Southwark Playhouse).

HENRY BRENNAN – CO-PRODUCER AND MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Henry Brennan has been nominated twice for the Off-West End Award for Best Musical Direction for Brass and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the Union Theatre. He was also nominated for a BroadwayWorld UK Award for Best Musical Direction for Brass. Other credits include: Crazy Coqs Presents (Brasserie Zédel); Maggie May (Finborough Theatre); Rapunzel (Immersion Theatre UK Tour); I Do! I Do! (Upstairs At The Gatehouse), and Hello Again (The Union Theatre).

BEN JACOBS – LIGHTING DESIGNER
Ben Jacobs is an Offie-winning Lighting Designer. Ben trained in Lighting Design at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and is a member of the Association of Lighting Designers. Recent credits include: Seussical and Bring it On! (Southwark Playhouse); Le Morte d’Arthur (The Scoop); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Wilton’s Music Hall); Eve and Dracula (Jack Studio); Free Fall (Pleasance London).

Associate Lighting experience: Les Misérables (UK Tour and International); Anna (National Theatre Studio); Project O (Southbank Centre); Crave (Prague Quadrennial), Miss Sarah (ZOO Venues, Edinburgh); Legally Blonde (Watford Palace).

CORBYN ASBURY – MARKETING AND DIGITAL STRATEGY CONSULTANT
Corbyn Asbury has over half a decade of experience in the Music and Entertainment industry, working with some of the biggest brands and artists globally, including Sam Smith, Lewis Capaldi, Mabel and more. From innovative fan events to international marketing campaigns, Corbyn is well-versed in driving audiences to entertainment content.

CASTING BY KELLY EVERITT
Kelly founded Kelly Everitt Associates in 2019 and co-founded Kellanne Masterclasses in 2015. Prior to this, she worked as a Junior Agent at Steve Nealon Associates and as an Assistant at Belfield & Ward, Oxford Adams Associates and Pearson Casting.

Kelly trained at London Studio Centre & Central School of Ballet. She performed for 13 years in all areas of theatre including West End, Tours, Cruises, Television and Corporate work.

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