Composer: Ian Lawson
Lyricist: Katy Darby
Touchstone: Oliver Mawdsley
Corin: Stuart Turner
Piano: Raphael Hurwitz
Way back in October 2011 we asked composers & lyricists looking for new collaborators to submit fun personal adverts describing their perfect creative match. These were posted on our website for everyone to read.
In November each of the 70 entrants then emailed us with their top 5 personal picks from the other adverts and we set to work matchmaking.
Over the next two weeks Laura & Dan from Iris Theatre set up 14 different blind dates bringing new creative partners together.
In December these new partners got on with writing a song based around our theme:
Songs inspired, directly or indirectly, by the play ‘As You like it’ – Iris Theatre’s summer show.
Set deep in the Forest of Arden, full of love & loss, confusion & certainty, this is one of Shakespeare’s fullest comedy.
Why did we give them a theme? Well, to give them a dramatic focus, to ensure we didn’t just get 14 pretty ballads, and to force them to tackle something completely new.
At the end of January we had a workshop here at St Paul’s to hear the songs and give a little creative guidance and support. This was followed by fairly frantic rewriting for some and then a last mad 10 days of rehearsal. All of which preparation has come down to just one night…
This song dramatizes the meeting in As You Like It between Corin, a simple country bloke, and Touchstone, a high
brow, high class, courtly gentleman. Through the course of the song they discover that, though they don’t agree on
everything, there are a couple of things they can agree on…
Ian is an experienced and successful composer seeking to broaden his horizons in musical theatre. Currently he is
writing a musical with long time screen-music collaborator Ben Heneghan. Ben writes lyrics and music and Ian only
writes music, so he always interested in hearing from new lyricists. He has extensive experience in composing screen
music (hundreds of credits) and some experience in stage adaptions of children’s TV shows; the best known being
Fireman Sam (for which he composed the original TV music).
He also composes ‘classical’ concert music, writes and performs jazz, and co-leads, with Ben, a 12-piece pop/rock
band called The Boo-Hooray Theory. He even dabbles with writing one-off commercial pop songs – it’s harder than
you might think! Usefully, he has his own recording studio for all these projects.
Ian loves lyrics that jump out at him. It could be a telling turn of phrase, a sudden change of atmosphere, a winning
rhyme...but they have to grab him.
Katy is a book writer and lyricist (as well as a published playwright), and a (lapsed) Professional Associate of Mercury
Musicals Development (MMD). Her commissions include Girlfriends, (with composer/lyricist Laurence Mark Wythe)
for OD Musical, Korea. She is also developing several original musicals, including Sade, Bachelor Boys and Lord
Byron's Mistress and an adaptation of J. Meade Falkner's The Lost Stradivarius with her regular writing partner,
composer Luke Bateman.
She likes composers with musicality, a fast work rate, flexibility, a knowledge of musical theatre, and absolutely no desire to write their own lyrics!
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