Parkway Dreams: Peterborough get the musical treatment
Alice Jones' Arts Diary
London Road, about the Ipswich prostitute murders, paved the way for unlikely musicals. Now, get ready for Parkway Dreams, an all-singing, all-dancing drama about the transformation of Peterborough town centre in the 1970s.
The show, which sounds like something Alan Partridge might enjoy, is the creation of the inventive East Anglian company Eastern Angles. Written by rising star Kenneth Emson, graduate of the BBC Writers’ Academy and erstwhile EastEnders script-writer, tells how “how a small Fenland city morphed into a buzzy New Town”.
The Lottery-funded project, based on 15 months and 6,000 hours of interviews with town planners, councillors and local residents, includes several songs including one, “We Need a Tom”, dedicated to Tom Hancock, who produced the first Master Plan for Peterborough new town.
“The source material could be quite dry but we’ve got these really joyous songs”, says Emson. “The challenge is to tell the story of Peterborough and to create an emotional bond with the audience. When we started interviewing people for the show, we heard how they had a dream to make Peterborough a better place. As soon as you hear people talk with passion, you have your subject for drama.”
The show will tour schools and other local places of interest from next week before a national tour, including a performance at the new writing theatre festival High Tide on 5 May.
Emson, 30, from Essex, who was short-listed for the Bruntwood and Pearson prizes in 2011, opens another play at Oxford Playhouse next week, called England Street. Is there a urban theme developing? “God no. That’s my non town-planning play”, he says. “It’s about two brothers on the run after the riots.”
Also in the Arts Diary
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
Arts & Ents blogs
Jack Whitehall crowned king of British Comedy Awards
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug review
Not all right on the night
Steven Edwards crowned winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2013
Kanye West is as 'misguided as they come': Ohio police chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >