Jason has already performed two cabaret shows this year—BOUM! with Chris Staines, and LEFT TURNS with versatile dive Elena Ferrari and Oscar nominee Gary Yershon, both at Crazy Coqs in London.
His next appearance there is with ANNE REID on May 20th, 21st and 22nd. Her show A NIGHT AT THE PICTURES contrasts songs from those delightfully lightweight wartime movies with her own poignant stories, including the bomb that fell on her house, and the brother who was torpedoed. I get to play the Warsaw Concerto and join her in a couple of fun duets.
Chris Staines and I revisit BOUM! C’est Chatastique! - featuring the songs of Jacques Brel. Yves Montand and Charles - live at Sands Film Studios on June 9th. This is a fabulous, atmospheric venue in Rotherhithe. Their shows are also available to stream online for anyone out of London and then we’ll be back at Crazy Coqs on June 21st
LEFT TURNS is also coming to Sands Film Studios on June 23rd. This is a really fun programme, exploring (though it sounds like an oxymoron) socialist musicals from the West End and Broadway—everything from the Gershwins’ 1930’s satire Let ‘Em Eat Cake to Made In Dagenham. Like Boum!, this will also be available online. We’ll be bringing this show back to the Crazy Coqs on November 21st, (not yet on sale.)
This production was supposed to open in 2020 at Hope Mill in Manchester, but then the pandemic intervened... However, I’m delighted I actually get to finish my orchestrations for this production which will play November/December this year.
Trumpeter Mark Harrison made several videos during lockdown with the cast and orchestra, many of whom will be reassembled for the actual production. So here’s a sneak preview of how the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein score will sound in this great little theatre.
One of my occupations during the pandemic was to compose woodwind music, knowing there was a good chance my old friend from college Mel Orriss would put it out into the world. I started with A Little Book of British Birds for Flute Duet, inspired to write pieces for a friend to play with her daughter, who was just beginning lessons. This features some delightful illustrations by my friend, the theatre designer Jane Heather.
I then moved on to This House of York, a suite on Yorkshire Folk Songs, for flute and piano (also available in a version for mixed wind quintet). The Roaring Twenties is also available in two versions, either for flute duet with optional piano accompaniment, or for flute quartet. Sonata (2020), also for flute and piano, is a more serious reflection on that strange year, moving through anxiety to hopefulness. I’m pleased to say that another flute and piano suite, full of exciting and sultry dance rhythms, Songs in a Hot Climate will be available any day now, and hopefully Winter In Sherwood will follow before too long. This last will probably appear in a version for flute, clarinet and piano, though I actually composed it first for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and piano;