Updated: Feb 8, 2019
UPDATE: some dates have changed. Please see more recent blog posts for the latest information.
TL;DR: I have some upcoming projects to announce.
26th January 2019 - Man and God workshop, York
14th February 2019 - Man and God workshop, Leeds
15th and 16th April 2019 - Man and God premiere, Bloomsbury Theatre
3rd and 4th May 2019 - The Tsar Gets His Photograph Taken, Bloomsbury Theatre
June 2019 - Density and Illusion premiere, Goodenough College
July-August 2019 - The Perfect Opera UK tour
August 2019 - The Don In Drag (venue TBA)
What are all of these strangely-titled shows? I'm glad you asked, imaginary reader. Please, read below to find out:
Man and God
A new musical about Mannes and Godowsky, the inventors of Kodachrome - the first colour film for everyone. It’s a tale of two Jewish scientist-musicians who mixed with the Gershwins, changed the way we record history, and were subsequently removed from the official history books. It’s great fun to be working with Professor Michael Berkowitz again to bring his research to life, and work with Jake Dorfman for the first time (other than our unpublished Christmas song).
We’ll be doing two workshop sharings at academic conferences; one in January 2019, one in February 2019. Then there’ll be a performance of the whole thing in March at the Bloomsbury Theatre, along with some exciting academic events.
The Tsar Gets His Photograph Taken
I directed a studio production of The Tsar Wants His Photograph Taken a few years ago as an academic outreach project for Professor Michael Berkowitz’s research on early 20th-century photography, with Johann Stuckenbruck conducting.
Now, we’re getting the band back together for a fully-staged production on the main Bloomsbury Theatre stage for the first professional UK performance of the 21st century. Once again, we’ll be exploring the perceived Jewishness of photography and anarchism in this fantastic farce of immigration, terrorism, and royalty.
Density and Illusion
Two of my three collaborations with PhD composers this year will premiere on the same night - those with Kaspar Querforth and Alex Tay. It’s wonderful to use the more intellectual and/or pretentious parts of my studies in partnership with composers with very specific expertise. Both asked me whether I could help create dramatic works that showed their research could be applied outside the academy.
Kaspar is interested in density - the amount of information in a given amount of music, and how that information could be distorted. We’re making a tale that mixes myths from across the world, myths of tyrant kings commanding music. Scherazade, Akoyo, Norngaest, and the Gardener of the Damask Drum all sing their songs, but their king demands more…
Alex’s research focuses on illusion - the sense of wonderment created by hearing the impossible. While in Lovecraft, the unknown is a source of horror, we want to tell a more optimistic tale (though at the time of writing, we have about three versions in play).
The Perfect Opera
The Perfect Opera premiered in June 2018. We had a wonderful response from the audience, and this summer we’re taking this hip-hop foxtrot sketch comedy opera to the Edinburgh Fringe after a London preview. This show about Macbeth falling in love with his camel (and what the perfect opera should be) has been a pet project of mine for years.
I promised that I wouldn’t go back to the Edinburgh Fringe until I had a beautiful, brilliant show that made the stress and hard work worth it.
I think this is that show.
The Don In Drag
In short, a queer cabaret cover of Don Giovanni. This one’s been slowly developing since about 2015, and snowballed in the past few years. A lot of details are embargoed at the moment - but it’ll be my other show this summer.
Hopefully, I'll be able to see lots of you at lots of these events - once dates are announced by the venues, I'll look forward to announcing them!