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Blog: The Future Of The Musical

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On Friday night The Songs In My Show and I were sat watching LATE NIGHT (past midnight! KRAZY!) TV. We had New 24 on, and I was half-watching an interview with Tim Rice on HardTalk. He was asked why there aren't any new, original musicals making it on to the West End and I was SHOUTING (NB not actually shouting, it was late: SAYING) "Because no fcuker from The West End came to see Dinosaur Planet, even tho i ASKED them too, and if they had there would DEFINITELY have been a BIDDING WAR."

This got me thinking about the NEXT show, which I was intending to be "Moon Horse And The Sword Of Monsters". Mr Tim Rice went on to say something very SENSIBLE: "There are very few rules to this sort of thing, and hardly anybody knows what they are" which is, i think, true of ALL ART. This seems to have set my BRANE a-WHIRRING, as I soon found myself thinking about VARIOUS items: a recent conversation with Mr Chris T-T when he asked why I was doing a sequel; the fact that this new show was turning out to be a bit of a SLOG to get down; the bit in Rock Biographies where The Band decide to throw away what they were working on and do something new; the list of things Steve and I worked out that we wanted to be IN the next show; and what else I could possibly write it about.

SUDDENLY things went into OVERDRIVE, as a WHOLE OTHER STORY started FLOODING through my brain. CHARACTERS magically appeared, ideas for SONGS flung themselves at me, and I instantly knew I was going to ABANDON (for now) "Moon Horse And The Sword Of Monsters". I always think that The Creative Process, when it is working, is like feeling yr way through the dark to try and make a copy of something that is ALREADY THERE. It's like you KNOW the finished item exists, and the CREATION part is actually just you trying to copy the original as best you can, altering your first attempts until you've got it accurate. "Sword Of Monsters", to be honest, felt more like I was cobbling together something out of bits and bobs of other stories - the stuff I'd done so far was GOOD, I think, but none of it was really flowing naturally. This NEW story, however, was coming at me so FIERCELY that I immediately filled 5 sides of my notebook with IDEAS.

Next morning MORE ideas came charging by - I wrote most of a song on the way to Tesco, another ZOOMED in when I got home, and the whole story was taking shape before my eyes. I don't, at this stage, want to go into LOADS of details about what it'll be (it's AGES until we'll be DOING it, but the basic thought is a) more of the same sort of thing but b) SUPERHEROES) but I can reveal that I will once again be making myself a HOSTAGE TO FORTUNE by featuring an elderly female figurehead who might feasibly POP HER CLOGS during the run and spoil everything!

It's all VERY VERY EXCITING - it was all happening so fast on Saturday morning that I thought I would FAINT, and this morning I'm still getting the RUSH of fantastic new ideas WHOOSHING into my head (including a whole EXTRA song that is, frankly, LEWD). YE GODS but this is FUN - whenever I'm up to my elbows in ADMIN or FORMS or travelling home late from a gig, THIS is one of the Aspects Of ROCK I think about when I'm wandering if it's all worth it. For BRANE SPASMS like this, it TOTALLY is!

posted 11/6/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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