The Clockmaker’s Daughter, a new musical from Daniel Finn and Michael Webborn, will be making its world premiere at London’s Landor Theatre this June (27 May to 4 July, press night is 1 June). The folk musical is set in the fictional Irish town of Spindelwood and tells a story built around prejudice, discrimination, animosity and a fear of the unknown.
Spindlewood, like most towns of age, has its traditions. But no practice, custom or Old Wives Warning is so firmly adhered to as ‘The Turning of the Key’. Every year, on the last night of winter, as the first day of spring unfolds, the townsfolk gather to take part in a strange ritual.
They meet in the centre of the town square, where a statue bearing the likeness of a young girl stands, poised and still, one hand raised as if to toast the sky. Constance has stood in the square for as long as any can remember. But she is never more lifelike than tonight.
Spindlewood is also home to a Clockmaker with a secret – something the simple folk of the town must never discover. Through methods hidden even to himself, the Clockmaker has created something much, much more than a machine…
The mysterious Constance will be played by Jennifer Harding (Rumpy Pumpy – King’s Head and Landor Theatre, Copacabana – UK tour) and joining her in lead roles will be Alan McHale (Babes in the Wood – Brick Lane Music Hall, The Beautiful Game – Union Theatre) as Will and Lawrence Carmichael (South Pacific – UK tour, Holding the Man –Trafalgar Studios) as Abraham.
Also starring will be: Jo Wickham (The Wind in the Willows – south east tour, Into the Woods – Ye Olde Rose and Crown) as Ma Riley; Alyssa Martyn (The Mikado – Charing Cross Theatre, Jack and the Beanstalk – Belgrade Theatre) as Amelia; Alex Spinney (Yarico – London Theatre Workshop, Our House – UK tour) as Henry; Rob McManus (The Music Man – Mission Playhouse, California, Anything Goes – San Gabriel Civic, California) as Mayor Glynn; Max Abraham (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – Royal Theatre, Nottingham) as Sam; Kathryn Laura Aiken (Sleeping Beauty – Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Love Beyond – Wembley Arena) as Moll/Young Girl; Paul Bradshaw (Americana – workshop, Miracle On 34th Street – Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Jon; Paul Brangan (A Spectacular Night of Queen – European tour, A Body to Die(t) For – Edinburgh Fringe) as Ted; Rebecca Gilliland (The
Goodbye Girl – Upstairs at the Gatehouse) as Lucille; Natalie Harman (The Suicide Shop – workshop, Jack and the Beanstalk – Exeter) as Rhiannon; new graduate Ruari Kelsey as Mr Reece/Villager; Colette Lennon (Jacque Brel is Alive and Well in Paris – Lyric Belfast) as Jane; Ruthie Luff (Hot Mikado – Landor, Clinton the Musical – Edinburgh Fringe) as Sue; Ryan Lynch (Bathhouse the Musical – Above the Stag, Alice in Wonderland – Madinat Theatre) as Dave; new graduate Clodagh Meary as Cara; new graduate Matthew McCabe as Jim; new graduate Emily Peach as Mary; and Leah Pinney (Damn Yankees – Landor Theatre) as Mab.
Landor artistic director Robert McWhir,who stages the show, said: “The Clockmaker’s Daughter, an original musical faerytale by Webborn and Finn is, without doubt, one of the best written original contemporary British musicals I’ve had the pleasure of reading and listening to for a long time. This extremely well-crafted piece of modern musical theatre is a tale of love and loss, with lashings of comedy thrown in for good measure (and a moral to boot). Eloquent yet colloquial dialogue and lyrics combine with intelligently referenced and nuanced music to create a score bristling with memorable soaring ballads and delightful comedic character numbers.”
Co-writer Daniel Finn commented: “The original aim of the piece was to attempt ‘a new Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale’ – something wholly original but also something that at heart contained, and staunchly upheld, the moral axioms conveyed in the classics. We both believe the concepts in this piece are particularly relevant to us all today and wanted to write a fairytale that would speak to a modern audience. While, like most musicals, still being good fun of course! We can’t wait to see it on its feet. It’s daunting for us but also very exciting. We’re eagerly watching the clock!”
Director Robert McWhir is joined by musical director Michael Webborn, choreographer Robbie O’Reilly and lighting designer Richard Lambert.
The Clockmaker’s Daughter is presented by Theatrica Ltd.