The Royal Wedding you won't want to miss!
London, 2011. The Olympics are doomed, the East End is being gentrified for houses no-one can afford, Amy Winehouse has died, and Adele's released her second album. It’s been a tough year.
But, in a world where Kim Kardashian can’t stay married for a whole TV series, love has blossomed between feisty East Ender Chelsea and dopey toff Bertie. He’s never going to win Mastermind, but he won Chelsea’s heart when he boned her trout at catering college.
It's 2012 and Chelsea’s future is bright. She has a new man and there’s a new progressive Prime Minister to light the days ahead (#blessed). The media can stick their obsession with the identity of Prince Albert, the secret royal who’s been in hiding for 20 years.
Bertie has something big to tell Chelsea. He’s down on one knee, but it’s not a ring he has in store… it’s a crown. And Chelsea will soon discover that travelling from Barking to Buckingham Palace takes more than a topped-up Oyster Card.
H.R.Haitch is a new 21st century British satirical musical about class, celebrity, patriotism, politics, race, and dash of social values. Set in an East London pub under the threat of closure, the family of the Dog & Duck are thrust into the limelight when their love-struck daughter, Chelsea, discovers a sudden unexpected connection to the Royal Family.
Featuring original music composed by Luke Bateman, of Mr. Poppers Penguins fame, lyrics written by children's author and Carnegie Medal recipient, Maz Evans, and featuring the musical talents of leading lady, Tori Allen-Martin; H.R.Haitch is a hilarious and charming new musical for princesses and paupers alike, performing at the Union Theatre in May this year.
EMERGING TALENT & WINNING COLLABORATIONS
Originally developed in 2015 as part of Iris Theatre's Workin Process new musical development program, H.R.Haitch was the brainchild of emerging artists, Luke Bateman and Maz Evans.
The pair met during Iris Theatre’s Blind Date songwriting competition in 2012. After winning the competition as a composer & writer team, Iris knew they had a winning collaboration on their hands, so they extended an invitation to Bateman and Evans to join their Workin Process program. Through the program, the pair were encouraged and commissioned to take an artistic leap forward and compose a full length new piece of work together which grew into what is now H.R.Haitch.
In testament to the artistic genius of Bateman and Evans’s work, H.R.Haitch began as a piece of pure fiction but life imitated art and it has now evolved on its own into a timely story mirroring current royal affairs and the upcoming nuptials of a certain prince. The musical is being freshly reworked for this - its first full production.
For those who've followed Iris for a while - if Luke and Maz's names sound familiar, it might be because they featured as one of dozens of artists on Xmas Factor: The Album, which we successfully crowdfunded for last year, featuring a whole host of new musical theatre songs around the theme of Christmas. Their song on the album - The Christmas Table - will feature in the show!
We featured Luke and Maz on Iris' blog during the Kickstarter campaign for Xmas Factor: The Album, which you can read here.
A ROYAL INVITATION
In partnership with Shrapnel Theatre, we cordially invite you to join us in bringing this diverse and modern fairy tale to life on stage.
- To give H.R.Haitch’s emerging composer and writer an audience and platform for new musical theatre in London.
- To employ a diverse cast which reflects the diversity built into the script and the London audience.
- To provide mentorship and work experience opportunities to emerging young designers during the production process.
- To provide educational opportunities to local children through the Union Theatre’s Youth Theatre Collaboration program.
- To embrace the production as a comedic opportunity to contrast the national mood due to the current political landscape and bring a smile to the London audience.
WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES
- The Creative Team – To enable Iris and Shrapnel to pay all creative team members a fee suitable for London living.
- The Diverse Cast of 6 – To enable Iris and Shrapnel to pay all performers a proper living wage on an Equity union contract.
- Youth Theatre Collaboration Program – To develop and teach master classes and provide free shows to the program’s children.
- AV Set Project – To fund a collaboration with a local film student to design and film fictional news slots for a rolling 24-hour news channel that will play in the on-stage pub and provide narrative texture and momentum at key moments in the story.
The writers: Luke Bateman & Maz Evans
Luke Bateman is a composer, pianist and performer. He wrote the score for Mr Popper’s Penguins with lyricist Richy Hughes, and with Michael Conley he has written the score for The Little Beasts, The Sorrows of Satan, and is currently writing Personality based on the Andrew O'Hagan novel of the same name. He's also written a wide range of original music for plays in London and farther afield, as well as arrangements for the RPO. Luke is a founding member of the Book, Music, and Lyrics (BML) workshop. You can find out more about him on his website.
Maz Evans is a children's novelist, television journalist and scriptwriter and lyricist. Her debut children’s novel, Who Let the Gods Out?, was published in February 2017 and was selected as the Waterstone’s Children’s Book of the Month and has received 20 award nominations, including the Carnegie Medal, Branford Boase, Books Are My Bag and Waterstone's Children's Book of the Year. Maz has participated in the Casualty and Holby City BBC shadow schemes and her theatre work has also been performed at Southend Palace Theatre and Bryanston Arts Centre. Her cabaret songs are regularly performed in the West End and beyond. You can find out more about her on her website.
Together, Luke and Maz have won three Iris Theatre Song awards for "My Sexual" (2012), "Xmas Swapping" (2013), and "The Christmas Table" (2014).
The director: Daniel Winder is also Iris' artistic director. You can find out more about him on our website. Tori Allen-Martin is lined up to take the lead as 'Chelsea'! - you can find out more about her here.
We'll be introducing you to other members of the team over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for Kickstarter updates and posts on our blog!
SAVE THE DATE
This royal affair kicks off May 9th at the Union Theatre, until 2 June, 2018!
Risks and challenges
Producing new musical theatre in London is not cheap - and it's not easy either! Luckily we've partnered with Shrapnel Theatre, who have produced a number of shows around London's off-West End since 2015. Shrapnel's co-founder and producer, Paul Virides, was also a co-producer on the Offie nominated revival of Honk! at the Union last year.
In 2015, Iris commissioned H.R.Haitch with support from the Arts Council, and we've applied to them again this year for funding. We won't know if we've got the funding until just before rehearsals start, and even if we do get it, it won't be quite enough to cover us which is where you come in.
The biggest challenge of producing theatre is paying actors a fair wage, something that has been in the theatre press a lot recently. Any money raised through crowdfunding will help us to ensure actors get paid properly for their time, and the creative team too.
The other big financial challenge in this project is the new series of newsflashes that will appear on-stage on a television. With the money raised by crowdfunding we'll be able to put some money towards creating high-quality work for these newsflashes.
New musical theatre, especially on the Fringe, is a risky endeavour and there's no guarantee that a production will break even, but we're lucky in that we've built up a following of musical theatre lovers over many years who have attended our Workin Process scheme. Shrapnel Theatre also has a track record of producing new and existing musical theatre, including "Get Your Sh*t Together" at the Landor in 2015, multiple new musical showcase nights and "Dark Heart" at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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