New musical Between Empires looks good...but then it is by Cameron Mackintosh's niece

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Taking a show to the Fringe can be nerve-wracking, but not for Morgan Mackintosh, whose first musical Between Empires opens at Symposium Hall in Edinburgh on Monday.

"It's something that's been ingrained in me since birth", says the 27-year old.

That's because her uncle is Cameron Mackintosh; she practically grew up in the stalls at his shows. "I bored everyone to death because I had to see Cats every birthday," she recalls.

Mackintosh Jr's  first job was at Xenomania records where she wrote B-sides for Girls Aloud, among others. She was inspired to write Between Empires by her numerous trips to India.

Set in 18th-century Bengal, it is the story of an Indian princess who falls for a young British officer, against the wishes of her rich uncle. Mackintosh, who is also producing the play, co-wrote the book and lyrics with Orlando Simon while Michail Palaiologou composed the music.

"Because of my family I've always been very wary of getting involved in theatre. It's potentially a massive shadow hanging over me. But I feel like now it's what I'm meant to do." 

Has her uncle watched the show? "Not yet. I don't want to ask him for anything and I don't want him to feel like he owes me anything because I'm his niece. I want to put it on first, then chat to him about it. I'm a perfectionist so I'd prefer him to hear the soundtrack, something a bit more polished."

Mackintosh, who lives in Chiswick, West London, already has grand designs for the play - "Edinburgh is not primary vision for the play. I've had to cut it in half. The dream would be to take it to somewhere like Stratford East or Leicester next then into the West End. Our vision is massive. I don't think I could handle it only being in Edinburgh."

If only she knew someone who might be able to help her...

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