10-Minute Musical Project
2017 started off slowly on the writing front. That thankfully resolved itself quickly and all because Angharad from Leeway Productions talked me into participating in the 10-Minute Musical project a year early.
Essentially, over three one-day workshops, five writer-composer teams are tasked with creating a 10-Minute Musical and presenting it, script in hand, to an audience at a showcase on the final Sunday. The goal is to inspire the creative process and allow the development of new ideas without fear of perfection. The pieces we present don’t have to be complete as this is about works-in-progress.
Before this, I’d never worked with a composer. I’ve always wanted to and it’s been on my to-do list for years. But there was just one problem… I didn’t know any composers.
Well, now I do.
Week One – 10 Minute Musical (concept development)
Given that I’ve never really written songs seriously before, I was a little apprehensive. Angharad circumvented that fear rather well, however, by pairing me up with Tim Riley, who is a fellow USW MA Scriptwriting grad and has already produced his own musical called Half ‘n’ Half – A Curry Musical at the Welsh Millenium Centre in 2015.
The first day was like being back at school. We were paired up and set tasks. Tasks which proved to be very handy in developing an idea. Tim and I answered questions on a character each and read the results back to each other to discover that we’d created two characters who were afraid to change and overly concerned with perfection in one way or another.
One exercise and we had the premise for our musical in the bag.
By the time we left Cardiff that first Sunday, we had two characters, a four scene structure, and a rather strong throughline. By the second Sunday, we had scraps of three songs prepared as well as 2 scenes and Tim had started playing with a melody.
Week Two – 10 Minute Musical (song development)
The second workshop revolved around working with our two performers, getting to know them and their voices, and integrating them into the collaboration process. By the end of the day, we had fully fleshed out our finale song and placed a melody to our first song.
My task for the rest of this week is to cut down our opening number and flesh out some of our scenes ready for a rehearsal Friday night.
Week Three – 10 Minute Musical (Showcase)
The final day is fast approaching and although it’s terrifying to test out new material in front of an audience, especially in such a new medium, I’m excited and already considering my next musical project.
The showcase evening sold out quickly causing Leeway to plan for an additional night during the two other project they’ll be running this year.