New musical The House of Mirrors and Hearts opens at Arcola Theatre in July

The House of Mirrors and Hearts - Artwork imageA new British chamber musical The House of Mirrors and Hearts will play in Studio 1 at Arcola Theatre from Thursday 2 July to Saturday 1 August, with a press night on Tuesday 7 July.

When Anna’s husband is killed in a tragic accident at their home, her family’s life is changed forever. Seven years pass and, torn apart by grief, Anna has drunk herself numb. Her daughters, Lily and Laura, exist in a world of secrets and lies. They spend their days in bitter silence and suspicion, until Nathan, a new lodger studying the works of a forgotten poet, forces them to confront their past. Tensions within the family build, threatening to shatter this already broken household once and for all.

A timeless and atmospheric musical, The House of Mirrors and Hearts is a contemporary British story about a dysfunctional family haunted by their past. Music and lyrics are by Eamonn O’Dwyer and book and lyrics are by Robert Gilbert.

The House of Mirrors and Hearts is presented by Aria Entertainment (Jerry’s Girls, From Page to Stage) and Perfect Pitch (Lift, The Go-Between), two companies dedicated to the development of original British musicals. Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment and Andy Barnes for Perfect Pitch said today: “We are so thrilled to be joining forces on this beautiful British chamber musical. Both our companies are known individually for our work with emerging British composers and new writing but The House of Mirrors and Hearts is the first project we have had the wonderful opportunity to partner on. We both feel positive about the current climate of new musical theatre with more and more great initiatives and opportunities arising for new writing. Collaborating with like-minded people has to be the way forward in supporting the evident array of emerging talent.”

The House of Mirrors and Hearts will be directed by Ryan McBryde, whose credits include the current UK tour of Saturday Night Fever, Angus, Thongs and Even More Snogging (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Hamlet the Musical (Northampton Royal & Derngate) and A Day At the Racists (Finborough Theatre).

Eamonn O’Dwyer (music and lyrics). Credits include A Christmas Carol, Hamlet, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (Rose Theatre, Kingston), Around the World in Eighty Days and The Glass Menagerie (Chipping Norton Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Stockholm English Speaking Theatre) The Immortal Hour and Merrie England (Finborough Theatre), Boy in a Dress (Edinburgh Festival and Bush Theatre), My Swordhand is Singing (Festival of Stories), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Tabard Theatre), Frankenstein: The Year Without a Summer (Dorset Corset Theatre Company), Liquorice & Smokerings (Pulse Festival, Ipswich), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Barakura Festival, Japan) and The Massacre (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds). From 2008-2011 O’Dwyer also played the pivotal role of the Song Man in the National Theatre’s multi-award winning War Horse in the West End.

Robert Gilbert (book and lyrics). Gilbert trained as an actor at LIPA, and in 2009 helped to found Sell a Door Theatre Company. After writing two shows for Sell a Door, Gilbert began working on The House of Mirrors and Hearts with Eamonn O’Dwyer. As an actor his credits include Anna Karenina and The Rolling Stone (Manchester Royal Exchange), Blood and Gifts and From Morning to Midnight (National Theatre), Lionboy (Theatre de Complicite), Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 and Two Gentleman of Verona (Royal Shakespeare Company), Sinbad (Sky) and Uncle (BBC3).

The musical director is David Randall, with design by David Woodhead.

Casting is to be announced.

Listen to music from The House of Mirrors and Hearts:


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