Many of you have seen my new logo’s (kindly created by Peter Frow) and also my blogs on Island of the Lost Children. I’m passionate about New Writing and look to support wherever I can . So what follows is an interview with Peter Frow Fairyland the Musical creator. There’s more to follow but this sets the scene nicely. It is unedited so it’s straight from the man himself and makes for an interesting read.
1) Tell me about Peter what have you done before how long have you been writing, the story so far?
Well Fairyland The Musical is my first musical but prior to that I had been writing, designing, filmmaking and composing music for film and video. I made my first film ‘Oh Elephant‘ in 1990, the story about four orphan elephants narrated by Virginia McKenna (Born Free). I have composed for all my own film productions as well including ‘Oh Elephant‘, ‘According to Colin’ starring Robert Daws (Poldark, The Royal), ‘Away with the Fairies‘ the prequel to Fairyland The Musical starring Virginia McKenna, Robert Daws, Amanda Waring (All Creatures Great and Small) and David Simeon (Doctor Who) and more recently for my first feature length film which I wrote, produced and directed ‘The Inventurers‘ (PG). A 24 track collection of some of my music is available on iTunes entitled ‘Peter Frow Filmscore‘. Having already written a feature film version of the Fairyland The Musical I then worked out that Fairyland The Musical could work on stage a more compact version of the story. I wrote a book for the stage and with Co-Producer Carrie-Anne Lewis we set about bringing Fairyland The Musical to life.
2) Where did the concept for Fairyland come from.
I started thinking about Fairyland The Musical in the early nineties with a story based on the character of Scatterjack and wrote a poem for my daughter which later became the basis of the song ‘Seeing is Believing‘ from Fairyland The Musical. After writing, producing and directing ‘Away with the Fairies’ which we’ll be starting the show with as there will also be filmed content be it still or moving images throughout the whole show. I reflected on a moment in ‘Away with the Fairies‘ where Virginia McKenna closes the lid on a suitcase full of tiny goblets made from sweet wrappers and laughs to herself uttering the word “Fairyland!”. It was then that I decided that if the story was to continue, it should continue in Fairyland itself and should be a musical, fairies after all love to sing and dance. Fairyland The Musical is a musical fusion of film & theatre for adults with magic in their hearts and children aged 7+.
I’m intrigued by old English fairy stories, myths and legends. We had a family friend an old lady who was a great story teller and when we visited her she used to regale stories of the fairies at the bottom of her garden and how she used to leave food parcels out for them, I never doubted their existence. She became the early inspiration for the character of Grandmother Vicky. ‘Away with the Fairies‘ ultimately became a catalyst for Fairyland The Musical as I developed the story, characters and songs simultaneously. As well as developing the story I drew inspiration for the emotional content of the songs from personal experience. For instance for the song ‘Afraid of the Dark‘ which is Grandmother Vicky singing of how the love of her husband who went missing during the Second World War, I drew on my own the memory of my own Grandmother who lost her husband relatively young but was kept going alone through the long winter nights by his memory. “Because the memory of your smile, the warmth of your arms keeps me from harm and your laughter and love live on”. Love is an ongoing theme in Fairyland The Musical as at the core of the story there is a family, it deals with all love at all ages. As far as musicals go I wanted to try and capture the magic and feel of the original film musicals of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, ‘Oliver’, ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’, ‘Dr Dolittle’ with a touch of Rodger’s and Hammerstein.
4) What’s been the timeline for Fairyland and any plan for it to continue its journey after 3rd October?
The original Fairyland The Musical soundtrack CD was released in 2010 with soprano Lisa Potter and myself singing all the vocal parts. I started thinking about the possibility of Fairyland The Musical either as a film or a show in 2012, Carrie-Anne Lewis who is also playing the fairy Elfine as well as Co-Producing came onboard in early 2014 and we’ve been building the cast and developing the show since. Rehearsals are in full swing and going well and we have a great cast of musical theatre professionals. Having sung on the original soundtrack CD I am joining the cast myself. Fairyland The Musical Produced and directed by Peter Frow, Co-produced by Carrie-Anne Lewis with Choreography by Jasmine Lomanto and Assistant directors Jack Silver and Carrie-Anne Lewis.
Cast: Carrie-Anne Lewis as the fairy Elfine, Jamie Chidzey as Flyn, Peter Frow as Scatterjack, Rowena Bentley as Grandmother Vicky, Suzanne Kendall as Amabel, Warren Palmer as James, Jack Silver as Bill Crundle, Esme Sears as the shapeshifting fairy Trixiekin, Andrew Armfield as the fairy Dandelion, Nathan Lister as the fairy Burdock, Jessica Hern as the fairy Catkin, John Sherrington as the Fairy King, Kristina Garrow as the fairy Teasel, Lara Falkner as the fairy Fluttercup, Shannon Rewcroft as the fairy Wistrel and The Blackwing Fairy Rebel Band comprising of Stuart Norman Lead Guitar/Vocals, Edd Harrison Drums & Percussion and Alexander Frow Rhythm Guitar/Bass Guitar/Ukulele/Vocals.
Fairyland The Musical will have it’s World premiere at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, The Ambassadors, Woking Surrey GU21 6GQ. 30th September – 3rd October 2015. Tickets £17.50 only available from www.fairylandthemusical.com, 10% Group Discount available for 10 or more tickets. Twitter: @fairylandmusic, Facebook: www.facebook.com/fairylandthemusical
Dare YOU step into the fairy ring?
We have plans for Fairyland The Musical to continue its journey after 3rd October but unfortunately the fairies have sworn us to secrecy – first rule of fairy!