Having written the lyrics to “Blue Briny Sea” Chris kept on writing. The musical “Auditions” arrived in 2015 re-written as “Guardian Angels” in 2016, containing the novely YouTube hit “Holiday In Harwich”. 2017 saw an even bigger YouTube hit in “Felixstowe” and the commencement of writing of a Latin Dance Musical, “La Vida Loca”.
More seriously, 2017 was the 200th Anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, and Chris wrote “Song For Jane Austen” to mark the occasion and celebrate the legacy Jane left in her dying months to try and secure her literary reputation in the future. How well she succeeded is evidenced every year by the Regency Parade in Bath, and the 2017 parade provided the images for a further video.
What comes into our minds when in 2019 when we read Jane Austen’s books ? Or more particularly supposing we were a paramedic, and a singer / songwriter in a girl band? Chris imagined a new character he called ANNA, putting herself in the shoes of Charlotte Heywood in 1817. What would she make of her parents agreeing that she should spend a summer at ‘Sanditon’ in the company of eccentric property developer Tom Parker and his wife ? Should she leave her existing security for the excitement of a possible new life? This idea, echoing the Beatles’ “She’s leaving Home” became the first new song, quickly followed by “Shallow”, Charlotte’s opinion of Sir Edward Denham.
Going through the 2014 play script, retaining the very best of the dialogue, but turning the rest into songs which explored the characters and situations in greater depth, the big-stage ensemble musical “200 Years Later” – Jane Austen’s ‘Sanditon’ as a pop/rock musical, gradually emerged.
Of course a new musical goes through many stages of development. First outing for “200 Years Later” will be a six person actor/musician concert presentaton of all seventeen songs with narrated links between them detailing the plot and the history of the piece. This will be in the Studio of “The Other Palace” Theatre in Victoria on Friday 26th July at 8pm.
Enjoy a whole melange of pop, rock, Savoy Opera and music hall styles, in solos, anthems and duets as ANNA’s 21st Century girl band goes back in time to explore the situations and characters in Austen & Lefroy’s satirical comedy ‘Sanditon’.
SONGS TITLE SUNG BY
1) “In My Imagination” – ANNA the 21st Century singer/song writer in a girl band
2) “Song For Jane Austen” 21st Century ensemble
3) “Speculation” Tom Parker & Jack Heywood
4) “Opportunity” Charlotte Heywood
5) “Enough In This Place For Me?” Tom Parker, Mary Parker, Charlotte Heywood
6) “How Really Sick We Are” Diane, Arthur and Susan Parker
7) “Books” Members of the Sanditon Subscription Lending Library
8) “Shallow” Charlotte Heywood
9) “Rock Quadrille” Girls in Mrs Griffith’s Finishing School
10) “Isn’t It Obvious” Letitia Beaufort
11) “Blue Briny Sea” Charlotte Heywood & Sidney Parker
12) “Breaking Out” Clara Brereton
13) “Nouveau Riche & Parvenue” Lady Denham
14) “The Life We’re Born Into” Miss Lambe, Charlotte, Clara
15) “Addiction” Sidney Parker & Mr Tracy
16) “Dishonoured” Lady Denham, Sidney & Tom Parker
17) “I Can See The Future” 19th Century ensemble