Stiles and Drewe blog ‘n’ plug

The last day of my wonderful zombie-musical-writing retreat was clearly so intense that I didn’t get round to blogging about it.  I had a final few spurts of frazzled creativity –  with ever-patient support from my mentors –  and we went out for a glorious meal at a local restaurant where my hosts plied me with fine aperitifs.  I was then heading straight off to Austria for an also very intense week of music-making at the Grand Hotel in Kitzbuhel. This is the location of an annual jolly that has me devising acoustic arrangements of random chart hits with high-powered management consultants – in a five-star hotel with a free bar!  It’s an uncharacteristically well-paid gig and a pleasurable but also somewhat pressurized weekend.

So no time to think about zombies.

Then back to England where I managed a quick catch-up afternoon with Susie at our glamorous writing retreat,  known as Costa Coffee, Crouch End.  Things had settled a bit with the writing and we sketched out a plan of action for the next stages of the process.  However for the next few days I was then preparing for a small musical festival near Lewes which I help to run every year, The Festival of Jim (in memory of my friend Jim Marcovitch, klezmer accordionist extraordinaire).  So another massively intense long weekend, this time camping in a wood, playing, dancing, schlepping drum kits along rutted paths, compering, visiting compost loos..

And not thinking about zombies.

And on the Monday…I began rehearsals for my family puppet musical Book Story, which, for some hideous reason, I am directing myself.  We’ve just opened this at Little Angel Studios in Islington, so here comes the plug bit:

Book Story is a show all about books, in which the characters are…books.  A bit like Toy Story, but with books – and completely different.  It’s been a long journey to create this show and I’m very proud of the way it’s come out – and the brilliant cast that perform it.  It’s suitable for anyone over the age of 6; it’s a “family show” by which I mean a show that engages adults and children in tandem (this being the philosophy of my company MONSTRO theatre, the self-styled “Pinoneers of the Puppet Musical.”)  It’s playing in London at Little Angel this weekend.  Some shows are sold out but there is space in the Saturday 11 am show (tomorrow!) and a special £5 industry offer if you use the code “BriansBooks” at box office or online.

So, come.  There are more shows over the next 5 weeks around the UK and back in London at the Arts Depot on 29th October. Details on Monstro Theatre website

Lovely review just come out here:

Review of Book Story from Spy in the Stalls

Back to (blogging) business:

All this has left very little time to think about zombies…but…Susie and I have met up again AND had some new ideas AND got excited about things again.  And we now have dates for all the progress labs etc.  We’re going to see George and Ants again early in October, relay our progress and discuss the latest outline – and the song sketches I’ve begun.  And very excitingly, we are now in discussion with several directors who are interested in working with us on the progress labs.  We should have news about this very soon….




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