Towards the Moon, bit by bit.

So last week saw the opening of my musical in development 'Towards the Moon' at the Edinburgh Fringe.  It's been a really exciting time and it was great to see something that I've written being brought to the stage by professional-standard actors and with top direction.  It's taken me about 15 years to get from writing stuff and putting it under my bed to actually believing that it is good enough to be presented to the public!  This is stage one of a longer process, I am talking to various people about how to take it further and it has been a fascinating experience.  There have been a few irritations along the way, as expected, but these are all to do with the logistics of performing at the world's largest arts festival.
Bobby, Sam and Mr McKenzie - photo © Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

The Edinburgh Fringe presents a few distinct challenges, there is almost no room to store set and you get no more than an hour.  This has been the source of the most frustration for me because I know what's missing from the story - pretty much the middle of it! - but I think the creative team have made the right decisions in presenting a 'version' of the show that works on its own.  I have a huge amount of work to do on it.  The interesting thing for me was that when I first wrote it, back in September of last year, I thought it was pretty much done.  Now that I've been working and working on it, the end seems to be getting further away.  But I know how to get to the end (I think) so all it will take is a whole lot of hard work and hopefully the finished full-length show will be there.

We got a nice review, only one so far at the time of me writing this, that was excellent as it understood that the piece is in development.  The more I watch the show, the more I see how it can be improved.  What lines jar, what songs don't really work (again there's only one song that's actually the length it's meant to be, I think this means that the melodies don't quite catch your ear but needs must), but I also can see what is working well.  The humour throughout, that I didn't really intend to be there, keeps the whole thing bubbling along nicely.

photo © Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

For those that get a chance to see this version then you will notice that, for no great reason, Bobby decides to return from where he came from.  This is pretty much the crux of the story but we just didn't have the time to fit in any more detail to get the show under an hour, but I know that it's there and I know that it needs to be worked on.  We also had to take out a HUUUUGE amount of music, I was especially disappointed that the last song was cut as I really like it, but it didn't play a big part in furthering the story so quite rightly it was chopped.

So I'm sitting in front of my computer now with about 15 different versions of the same show in front of me!  My job now is to take it all, look at it again, listen to what those who know what they're talking about say to me and give it my best shot to turn this is into something really worthwhile.  The show is running right through the Fringe and it's an excellent opportunity to catch these stars of the future doing what they do best!  More details here.

The full cast - photo © Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


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