The Devil and Mr Stone was a musical based on the age-old Faust legend set in the 19th century in the United States and was Stephen's second full-length, sung-through musical. The words were by Dennis Pickford who had played God in the composer's Creation Story. Dennis wrote an original libretto which opens at a gala given by the wealthy Noah Stone. The assembled guests observe an altercation between Noah and a guest before the gala is rudely interrupted by the arrival of the sinister Jereboam who is selling the mysterious 'universal remedy' which he claims can solve all manner of ailments much to the excitement of the crowd. Then as daytime suddenly turns to night, a figure dressed in black arrives...

Stephen and Dennis started writing The Devil and Mr Stone in 1987 after the last performance of Creation Story and it was eventually performed three times at the Donmar Warehouse as a late-night showcase in July 1989. The top cast was made up of actors who were all appearing in West End shows who incredibly gave up their time for expenses only. After quite a search to find a director the young Ramin Gray eventually stepped in and did a splendid job at very short notice.

Musically the show was a departure from Creation Story drawing on operetta, American folk music as well as the

sung-through musicals of the time.

At the time of the performances the Donmar was being renovated. Arriving for the second performance the long table and chairs that were the chief part of the set had been used by the builders to mix cement on!

Stephen entered the score for the Sondheim Masterclass in late 1989 and was subsequently accepted on the course.

He is currently producing a vocal score that corresponds to the SoundCloud playlist for Score Exchange. The show is a favourite of the composer. Click the link below to hear the playlist on SoundCloud or click here.

CAST

 

NOAH STONE - ANDREW MURRAY

HIS WIFE - NIKKI ANKARA

THE DEVIL - NIGEL GARTON

JEREBOAM - ANTHONY O'DRISCOLL

BETSY ANNE - CARRIE ELLIS

GOVERNOR - VAN HINMAN

DOOMED GUEST - ROBIN POLLEY

GUESTS - PIPPA LAY, YVONNE RILEY,

CHARLES SHIRVELL,

CHRIS COLBY, ALAN VICARY.

aka The Devil Down Below

Words by Dennis Pickford Music by Stephen Keeling

 

THE DEVIL AND MR STONE

SWScan00060

Playlist of songs from The Devil and Mr Stone on SoundCloud.

Songs recorded live at the Donmar Warehouse and also recordings from the original demo. Click the playlist link to hear the songs.

PLAYLIST

Directed by Ramin Gray

Choreography by Ian Poitier

Designed by Nigel Prabhavalkar

Lighting by Alan Pope

Producer Aidan Bell

Musicians: Flute - Colin Crawley, Clarinet - Paul Mason,

Strings - Evelyn Preston, Bass - Nick Skillbeck,

Percussion - Neil Roland, Piano - Stephen Keeling

Performed at the Donmar Warehouse 7th-9th July 1989

Original demo sung by Charlotte Page, Chris Harley and Dennis Pickford. Recorded at Keele University 1987

 

 

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