Now that I've added a 'blog' page to our website, I thought I'd take the opportunity to say a big hello and give a little back story to the creation of this musical theatre company. So firstly: Hello there - I'm Laura, the director of Music Box Theatre. Thanks for stopping by.
At drama school I had often said that I wanted to set up a theatre company - a musical theatre company. One where a group of people would get together and create a story told through words and music. I had admired the work of many other companies such as Les Enfants Terribles, Dumbshow, DugOut Theatre, Theatre Ad Infinitum and more recently, The Human Zoo Theatre Company. From the Edinburgh Fringe to UK tours to site specific performances and festivals to World tours, these companies had proved you did not have to sit and wait for the work to be available to you. You can go out there, create it yourself and make your own career in the industry you love.
It was back in January of this year that I decided to embark on this rather ambitious adventure. It started off as a solo mission but over time I managed to entice people of talents far greater than my own and somehow convinced them to jump on board and join me for the ride. I wanted to set up a company of creatives some of whom would work on all our endeavours, others who would join for as many as they could and/or wanted to. Our first production would be a musical set in the First World War (my 'special subject' at University) and would go to the Edinburgh Fringe in August 2015. I confirmed a venue and that was it. A deadline had been created and I had to meet it.
Now, here is where I admit something I'm not quite sure I should but feel it could be important to: I have never written a musical before. I have written music and lyrics and I dabble in stories and sketches but I have never finished a whole script or written a book with musical numbers. I have never produced a musical before. I have never created a casting breakdown or auditioned people for a musical nor have I ever had any say in costume or set. I have never done any design work and I have never had to raise £10,000 or handle any serious finances before. Now I really do not say this to impress because I have often had to stop and ask/chastise myself with - 'What the hell were you thinking? Seriously? How many pints of gin had you consumed before deciding this was a great idea you complete and utter buffoon?'
Truth is, I still think it's a pretty great idea. Poppies is the story I've always wanted to write. And when you believe in an idea and you believe in yourself, turns out you really can achieve a lot. You may not sleep a lot but you can achieve a lot. And you'll certainly surprise yourself. You may still be writing the script the day before the first read through - or coming up with songs the night before you have to teach them to the cast - or even just arriving with some chords, a melody and an idea of the song's story and writing it together. But it can work if you have the right team. And luckily for me, I do.
So if you're up in Edinburgh this August, I do hope you'll come along - lend us your eyes, ears and imaginations and let us know what you think of the shows - (oh yes, did I mention we're doing more than one?!) good or bad, ugly or very ugly, I do not mind. That's theatre after all.