It was great to catch up with multi award-winning songwriting duo George Stiles and Anthony Drewe at last week’s launch for The Three Little Pigs, their brand new family musical which plays at the Palace Theatre from Wednesday 5 August to Sunday 6 September 2015.
The five-strong cast includes: Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist and Olivier nominated actress Alison Jiear (as Mummy Pig), Simon Webbe (Blue, Strictly Come Dancing, Sister Act), Leanne Jones (Hairspray), Taofique Folarin (The Lion King, Avenue Q) and Dan Buckley (The Book of Mormon, Loserville), stepping in at the last minute for Gareth Gates who has a voice injury.
Stiles and Drewe met at Exeter University where the former was studying music and the latter was reading Zoology – so it’s little wonder that animals tend to feature in their musicals, which include: Honk!, Betty Blue Eyes, Just So, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Soho Cinders.
The writers explained that the show began its creative life when they were asked by Singapore Repertory Theatre to write a piece around 50 minutes long for three year olds and up.
“The company wanted a small musical, perhaps with a recognisable title and inspired by a fairy tale, something still popular with different generations. We actually ended up writing three shows: The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Billy Goats Gruff. The idea was that the same five actors could feature in each show.
“Writing for a family audience is very much part of what we do, it’s important to give families the opportunity to be sociable with each other. There have now been productions all over the world: across the US, and there are five companies performing the musical in China.
“Our Three Little Pigs – Bar who loves to exercise, Bee who is ‘green’ to the core, and Q the insatiable bookworm – learn to work together as a team to defeat the Big Bad (but possibly misunderstood) Wolf.
“We so enjoy introducing children to musical theatre. Children love to sing and love a story, we hope we have captured the story but also presented it in a slightly different way.”
The piglets will start their journey at North Finchley artsdepot on 24 July with a pit-stop at Birmingham Town Hall from 28 July before the West End season.
The Three Little Pigs will be directed by Anthony Drewe with set and costumes designed by Jason Denvir, choreography by Ewan Jones and lighting designed by Oliver Fenwick.
* Musical Theatre Review editor Lisa Martland (pictured with Stiles and Drewe) had a nice long chat with the writers at the The Three Little Pigs launch – look out for her interview soon!
* Check out the Musical Theatre Review YouTube channel HERE