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Q&A with Paul Harnett and Nikki Davis-Jones Alice a New Musical

Alice a new MusicalAlice a new Musical is at St James Theatre from 9th to the 21st March 2015 as part of their lunchtime programme.

Welcome to Wonderland, where all is not entirely as it seems. A world where dodos can dance, Mad Hatters holler and Cats eat…cake!

Featuring all original songs and an entirely new script, experience Lewis Carroll’s delirious adventure like never before in a brand new musical production that will leave you smiling like Cheshire Cat!

Producer/Writer/Director Paul Harnett and Assistant Director Nikki Davis-Jones took time out to answer a few questions about Alice a New Musical.

When did the idea for Alice a New Musical first begin and work commence on it?
Paul Harnett: I have been working at St James Theatre for the past year, working on mainly Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde.
I decided that I really wanted to do a musical in 45 minutes as part of the lunchtime programme.
I wanted to choose a well known story that would appeal to both adults and children. Last summer I sat with Rebecca Crookshank (co-writer) drinking tea in the garden out of an Alice in Wonderland tea set…that was enough inspiration for us! That’s where it was born! Since then we have been working hard along with the rest of the creative team to shape the story to make it as entertaining as possible for both adults and children alike.

Where are you in the timeline of getting the show ready for opening on 9th March?
Paul Harnett: We have started rehearsals and are choreographing the numbers. Rehearsals start on Monday 23rd February.

How would you describe Alice a New Musical?
Nikki Davis-Jones: It’s a great new piece of musical theatre. I think when people come in at lunchtime to eat their sandwich they will just stop and watch and listen. They will be blown away by it. It really is brilliant. It is incredible value for money for 45 minutes. It is definitely a feel-good musical.

Nikki, what is your role as Assistant Director on a day to day basis?
Nikki Davis-Jones: I’m Paul’s sidekick and it is really exciting working with him. It is great to be able to collaborate together.
Paul Harnett: For me I get completely immersed in the musical. Sometimes it just needs someone to have another view on it and it is great to share ideas with Nikki.

Have you had a fixed vision for the production?
Paul Harnett:I have a clear image in my head as to how it looks in order to write it. The great thing about writing and directing – is for example when Alice falls down the rabbit hole, as the director I can figure out how that can be achieved on the stage before we sit down and write it. Also, I love collaborating. Each member of the team brings something different and exciting to the table. Rebecca and I worked together on shaping the structure of the piece, and the characters, whilst Dan and Jay came up with the incredible songs, then Sean Parkins (Choreographer) has come in and given his input which is fabulous. When someone comes in with an idea, that can then spark an idea within me. If you are on your own you don’t get that opportunity. It is only as good as it is because of that collaboration. We have an incredibly strong team on board which is very exciting and we can’t wait to hear the audience’s reaction

Where would you like to see the future for this show?
Paul Harnett: We have already written a synopsis as to how it would be if it were a full-length musical, and how we could achieve it. The main aim at the moment is to get this 45 minute version up and running.
Nikki Davis-Jones: Nowhere else in London will you be able to see a musical of this scale for £10. It is a new concept.
It really is unbelievable. The musical is brilliant. It’s funny. It pulls at the heart strings. It really is genius. There are 8 in the fabulous cast.

Producer/Writer/Director: Paul Harnett
Producer: Oliver Taheri
Writer: Rebecca Crookshank
Music&Lyrics: Dan Williams/Jay Reynolds
Choreography: Sean Parkins
Assistant Director: Nikki Davis-Jones
Costume Designer: Katherine Connely
Costume Maker: Lizzie Furniss
Lighting Designer: Alex Musgrave
Assistant Lighting Designer: Sam Jauncey
Photography: Darren Bell

Alice A New Musical
From the 9th to the 21st March 2015
Performance start times vary at either 12.00 or 13:00
The show is a 45 minute version of the story and has been created as part of the series of lunchtime plays for office workers, families and tourists in the local area to enjoy

Saturday 21st February 2015


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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