1916: The Musical – Brief Summary
1916 is a new sung-through, epic musical on the scale of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. It is a love story set in Dublin during the Easter Rising of the same year. At its heart lies a relationship between a beautiful girl who falls in love with a British Soldier, but whose brother is a determined Republican. As the events of battle ensue this love triangle is tested to breaking point in both directions.
Production History - So Far
The original concept has been developed by Sean Ferris over the last three years. Over the last two years the writing team of Simon Humphreys, David Christmas and Stuart Hancock have now completed 70% of the libretto and score which is now in workshops in London and will complete by December this year.
In July this year we were invited to perform a half hour segment at the theatrical showcase event “West End Live” in Leicester Square. This was an unprecedented invitation as all other performances over the weekend were from existing and well known London shows. As a direct result of this we have been asked for a fuller length performance to be staged in Trafalgar Square next year as part of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. We will also be performing a set from the current workshops at The London Irish Centre in December this year for interested investors, coproducers and broadcasters.
While the work does have political threads by its very nature, this is not a revolutionary, anti-British piece, indeed quite the opposite is true. It tells the story of hungry people who overthrow their oppressive masters, but the history contributes greatly to the healing and reconciliation process begun by the Good Friday Agreement. It will change a generation’s perceptions about we know as “The Troubles”. Its subject matter and portrayal are not about violence, bombings and sectarian killings. This is a story of real people who drew up a charter for freedom and the right to peace.
- “Look's good! Can't wait to go and see this one!”
- “Looks very exciting- can't wait to see it, looking forward to this one already....”
- “Great concept and looks to be being very well put together- looking forward to seeing this on the West End stage.”
- “Exciting!! Looking brilliant, really coming together!! Forget Les Mis! All eyes on 1916!”
- “What a fantastic, original idea! The music from that short clip? was so powerful - I can't wait to hear more! SO exciting!!”
score infused with Celtic rhythms, pipes, harps and flutes.....
Producers, 1916 The Musical
The website (http://www.1916themusical.com/) is pretty full of information, especially considering that a full production has yet to be completed. Perhaps most importantly, there is information about the historical events being portrayed, events that most Americans probably do not know a thing about (myself included). But that hasn't stopped us before - how much did you really know about the French Insurrection before you saw Les Miserables? (I bet a lot of you still think it takes place during the French Revolution, like A Tale of Two Cities. It doesn't.) And if we can embrace the sad world of Billy Elliot, I'm pretty sure we can give this a chance, too.
Check out this video, a short documentary about the show to date, along with a rather bold announcement at the end:
And here is a bit of the show in performance at this year's West End Live (think Broadway on Broadway):
The folks associated with this show really want to hear your thoughts, so be sure to tell then what you think about what you've read and seen.
(Photos of 1916: The Musical at West End Live! courtesy of 1916 Productions (UK))