I'm not sure why it has taken me quite so long to revisit CREATION STORY. So many other projects have happened since then that have taken up my time and 1986 is a long time ago. Also some of the main people involved with CREATION STORY are no longer here most especially Anthea Deakin who wrote the majority of the words. Me and Anthea had a long history together and it is to her I owe wanting to become a composer of musicals (as well as teachers at Walton Priory Middle School after they wrote an original musical for the pupils to perform). Anthea was the wife of the Vicar, John Deakin, in the North Staffs village where I grew up. She had trained as an actress at Rada in the 1950s and was very knowledgeable about theatre. Moreover she was a highly gifted writer. I had started writing plays with songs from quite an early age and putting them on in people's houses (my very first was a musical play of Cinderella from which I can remember a Waltz) but I really needed a collaborater and Anthea was perfect. We formed a drama group in the village and local children came to perform in plays with songs that we wrote - Boss, Musicana, The Furthest Star. In December 1983 we took over the church with our most ambitious production yet - a musical version of A Christmas Carol this time with adults and children. Who knows - I may get that one out of the box too! But the big one was CREATION STORY. It occupied a good deal of my spare time during my second year at Goldsmiths and was performed in a big performing tent at the National Garden Festival in Stoke in 1986. The concept was Antheas and she wrote a fine libretto with additional words from choreographer Alison Varley and myself (and later from Alison Reddihough). I composed a completely sung-through score. We auditioned in Easter of 1986 and in June a huge cast of talented singers, dancers, musicians and creatives met most nights to rehearse the show. The performances in September were very well received and the musical was brought back during the New Year period of 1987 culminating in a performance on January 11th at the Gatehouse Theatre in Stafford. As 1987 got underway my finals were looming and I had started work on a new show called The Devil and Mr Stone with Dennis Pickford (who had played God in CREATION STORY) which would take up the next two years and eventually be performed at the Donmar Warehouse in 1989. In 1989 I also also met Steven Dexter and Shaun McKenna to start work on Maddie which was to fill up the next eight years (in fact we're still at it!). Many other projects have come along since then too. And so CREATION STORY stayed on the shelf until 1992 when Alison Reddihough and I looked at it and Alison wrote some fine additional words.

 

Since then I haven't looked at CREATION STORY until this year when I listened through to the tapes again and played the score on the piano. And I'm so glad I have as CREATION STORY deserves a life. Looking at it again I decided 25% could usefully come out and certain parts of it could be tightened up. I didn't want to compose any new music so the score is as I composed it in 1985/86 apart from the 1992 version of 'There's Been a War in Heaven'. Through Venetia Caine, who played the Archangel Michael in the original production, CREATION STORY was sent to the composer Stephen Oliver who met with me in late 1986 to go through it and sent me off to a publisher. I'd forgotten until looking at it again he had said to me CREATION STORY was head and shoulders above similar pieces. This revisit has been full of nostalgia for me and I'm proud of the work we all did 33 years ago. Musically I can hear echoes of my later musical My Father's Son in the score though CREATION STORY is more rock orientated. And most of all it brings back my first collaborater, Anthea Deakin, a lovely and very talented lady to whom I owe a lot.

 

 

 

 

CREATION STORY REVISITED

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Anthea Deakin

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