Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Olympus - New Worldwide advertising campaign

We've blown the budget and embarked on a world wide advertising campaign with the endorsement of some  A-List celebrities - for more details please visit http://olympusthemusical.co.uk/adverts.html

Friday, 18 November 2011

Christmas Lights Switch On

Last night's performance at the Croydon Christmas lights went well - check out the videos on the Gallery page of the web site to see what was done...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Two New Recordings

Last night in preparation for singing at the switching on of the Christmas lights a number of the cast recorded vocals for the opening and closing songs in the show - "Faster Higher Stronger" and "Carry the Torch". Both recordings are now on the web site and able to be downloaded.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Further Progress

We seem to be making good progress. We've now finalised the band and we held very successful children's auditions and will soon be in a position to make decisions on the children's cast. On Thursday in the early evening, we shall be singing a couple of songs from Olympus at the switch on of the Christmas lights in Croydon.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Publicity Quote

Some time ago Richard Stilgoe, co-lyricist for Phantom of the Opera, and Lyricist for Starlight Express listened to songs from Olympus, and wrote back commenting on the music. I have been in contact with him again, and he is happy for us to use the quote he made, in the publicity material for the production.

"Very few people can write good tunes - Ian Rae can" - Richard Stilgoe

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Twitter for Olympus the Musical

Olympus the Musical is now on Twitter. To access it go to www.twitter.com/Olympus780BC Keep up to date with what's happening as it happens

Cast List Announced

A superb cast has now been announced for the show and Chris and I are already making changes to the script based on what we know of the performers. Well done everyone involved

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Croydon College Performing Arts

Today we ran a very successful Olympus workshop for a number of Performing Arts students at Croydon College. We taught and work shopped dramatic sections and five songs from the show and following an excellent response from the participants, expect to be able to cast a number of the students in the show for both the Ashcroft Theatre and Minack Theatre

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Search Continues

We've had some very good audition sessions over the past week and are confident that we can fill most of the more senior parts from those who have auditioned. This weekend we shall be continuing the process and also looking for actors and actresses to play some of the younger parts. What is particularly gratifying is the number of young professionals who would like to be part of this production.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Minack Tickets For Olympus are now on Sale

In case you've missed the news tickets for our production at the Minack Theatre are now available, and initial information about the show is accessible at http://www.minack.com/whatson.htm

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Croydon College To be Involved

Chris, Nicky and Ian had a very successful meeting with Croydon College this morning. Resulting from the meeting we will be running an Olympus workshop for the 2nd year Performing Arts students on 13th October at the college. Other involvement from the college will include video recording, assistance with the Olympus cast album and viral animations to publicise the show by email and on web sites.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Audition Dialogue Additions

Audition pieces for Aimee, Thetis and Nestor have now been added to the Audition Page of the website

Friday, 30 September 2011

Auditions - Next week

Just a reminder than if anyone would like to run through the audition music pieces prior to the auditions Ian will be happy to assist - please contact Ian on Auditions@Olympusthemusical Co

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Back Online

Apologies for the lack of blogs over the past week - but communication from Australia has been proving rather difficult during this time

However, we are up and running once again - and the Olympus website has been updated with the dialogue pieces for the auditions next week. Check out auditions page of the web site below the music dialogue pieces

Friday, 16 September 2011

The Transformation Begins

In the years that followed the two concert performances, there were a few occasion when we considered resurrecting Olympus, but time passed and nothing happened. However, in 2010 with the London Olympics on the horizon it seemed that the time was right, and as Olympus was written as a completely sung through piece, we decided that it should be transformed into a full musical with dialogue.

Having seen Gulliver, we approached Chris, who agreed to look at the show and see if the existing music could be incorporated and transformed into a major new musical - the transformation had begun

Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Current Trend in Musicals

How do you publicise a new unknown musical when the current trend is to write musicals that people recognise from their name? But it wasn't always the case. Just imagine a conversation  as 2 young writers pitch their show to a musical theatre producer in the 21st century.

Hiram Come in boys - Oscar, Richard take a seat and tell me of your great ideas.

Oscar Thanks for seeing us - we have this idea of a wartime show, where a Frenchman falls  in love with a young American nurse, and a young GI falls in love with a native girl.   We're calling it "South Pacific"

Hiram Wartime story.........South Pacific....How many times must I tell you boys. Nowadays  A musical must be self explanatory within its name, or at least be a story everyone knows before  they see the show - how else will they know whether they like it or not?
Richard  But won't that stifle the originality of the show?

Hiram We're talking musical theatre here boys - originality? - enough said

Oscar So I guess you won't like our idea about feuding cowboys and farmers? It's called Oklahoma

Richard With an exclamation mark!

Hiram Oklahoma, with or without the exclamation mark is a no no. Who'd remember it as a  name one year from now. You might as well call it.....let me see.........Chicago

Richard Carousel any use?

Hiram Carousel - car to sell - it's meaningless to the audience

Oscar The Sound of.......

Hiram Can you see yourselves out boys?

(They get to the door and Oscar turns around)

Oscar My young protegee Stephen has been working on something - West Side Story?

Hiram  Shut the door behind you boys!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Success on National Music Day

Two successful performances of Olympus have been performed. The first on 28th May 1992 sung by a number of participants from Coda and Croydon Stagers, went down very well. About a year later after a number of additions and minor changes to the story, it was performed successfully, by parents, staff and children of St Andrew's School in Croydon.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Original Olympus - The Gods

High on Mount Olympus were the ancient Gods, represented by the mighty Zeus, the King of the Gods, Hera his powerful but rather bad tempered wife, and Queen of the Gods, Ares a very camp God of War, who was prepared to interrupt his organisation of conflicts around the world, to prevent the message that Thetis was only sleeping from reaching Peleus, Hephaestos, a rather kindly God of Fire, and the real father of Thetis and finally Hecate, the Queen of the Witches, who felt sorry for the two young lovers, and provided the sleeping potion which would make Thetis appear to be dead.

Throughout the plot, these Gods were prepared to intervene to achieve their own ends, and influence the mortals on earth as they pleased.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Original Olympus - Family and Friends

At the first Olympic Games, Thetis is accompanied by three people - her father Cadmos - an Athenian patriarch responsible for organising the games, Telemon, her brother who has come to compete in the wrestling contest and Maia, the nurse who has tended her ever since the death of her mother in childbirth.

However as the story progresses it becomes obvious that Thetis' father is not in fact Cadmos, but Hephaestos, the God of Fire who fell in love with Thetis' mother on one of his visits to earth. It also becomes apparent that both Cadmos and Telemon are driven by self interest rather than honour,

Peleus is accompanied by his best friend Nestor, a kindly honest Spartan, (the Mercutio character) who is also at the games for the wrestling, but who will die at the hand of Telemon (Tybalt)

The name Cadmos was derived from Cadmus, an ancient Phoenician king, Maia, from an ancient Goddess of Spring ands Nestor from the name of an ancient King of Pylos.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Original Olympus - The Lovers

In the original version of Olympus, the Romeo and Juliet characters were Peleus, a young Spartan Prince, who after years of training was attempting to win the wrestling contest at the games, and Thetis a young Athenian girl, whose father Cadmos was organising the games. Part of the sub plot was the fact the the Athenians, who should have been noble and charitable, were in fact self obsessed and were using the games to further their own ambitions, and the Spartans who were expected to be rough and uncouth were in fact honourable and kind.

The name Thetis came from a young, beautiful sea nymph in Greek mythology. The name Peleus came from a minor Greek hero, who was the father of Achilles. His brother was called Telamon, who, within Olympus, became  Telemon, the brother of Thetis.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Background to the Story

Having flown about twelve thousand miles over the past few days, I've had lots of time to reminisce about the background to Olympus. It all started nearly twenty years ago when I foolishly agreed to play the piano for twelve hours for charity as my contribution to the first National Music Day - 28th June 1992. I needed to have something special to finish off the session, and having recently been to watch Les Miserables decided to write my own musical.

With a degree in Classics it seemed a good idea to set it in ancient Greece and also thanks to my admiration for West Side Story, use Romeo and Juliet as the main theme of the story - and of course the idea of using the Greek Gods to to be an intrinsic part of the story was very appealing. During the spring of 1992 the songs and words just seemed to flow out  of me, and very soon I had close to twenty songs which would make up the majority of the story, and the original characters were beginning to come to life in my head.............(to be continued)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Redesign of Website

I've just added Auditions and a Gallery page to the website, which should simplify things in the long run and allow photos and video links to be placed together. We've also had a form sent to us by VisitCornwall, to allow us to put Olympus on their website, which receives over a million hits each year - so that should provide some publicity for the production.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Preparing for the Olympus auditions

If anyone would like to run through the audition music pieces before the auditions I'll be around from 30th Sep onwards and happy to have sessions with anyone who would like to learn/practise the songs. If you would like to do this please email me on auditions@olympusthemusical.co.uk and I'll try to get back to you keeping in mind there might be a delay as a result of the time differences between the UK and Australia

Monday, 5 September 2011

Feedback from the Presentation

We've had lots of positive feedback from participants at the presentation so we must be going in the right direction. Congratulations to Carole Lane, Berry Butler, Christine Weatherill and David Sanders who won the draw for places to participate in the RSC acting workshop in London on 24th Sep. And of course Good Company will be represented by Wiggy Wilson, Maggie Matthews, Nicky Chambers and Graham Mountain on the 25th Sep at the RSC Production team workshop.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Another step forward

The presentation this afternoon was very well attended and seem to go down very well with all the participants who came from a number of different amateur dramatic backgrounds. Managed to get some video footage which will go on Youtube in the very near future

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Time To Wait and See

That's it - I think everything's prepared for tomorrow's presentation - music printed out - informations sheets prepared - signs to get people to the right part of the school

Now we've got to see who turns up - and we haven't  a clue about the numbers - we just have to wait and see...

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Countdown to Sunday's Presentation

As we begin the countdown to Sunday, Chris has been working on yet another revision to the script, and I have been adding the list of characters and the audition music pieces to the Rehearsal page of the website.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

More news from Cornwall

We've just had an email from the Festivals and Events co-ordinator for Visit Cornwall saying that she is very keen to include the cast of Olympus in the Olympic Torch Relay activities and that she will be in touch

Monday, 29 August 2011

It's all happening in Cornwall

We've just had a couple of positive emails from Cornwall - we wrote to Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall , the official Cornish Tourist Board, offering our services in their planning for publicising the successful delivery of the Olympic torch through Cornwall and had a very positive response.

Similarly Philip Jackson Theatre Manager of the Minack emailed us confirming that the 4 performances in Cornwall are likely to be Thursday evening, Friday evening and Saturday matinee and evening. Also the tickets will start to go on sale in October

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Journey continues

When making any journey it is advisable, I'm told, to know where you are  starting from - so here is where we are starting from with the Olympus project

Olympus the Musical has been written (and revised a number of times) by Chris Chambers and Ian Rae.
The musical tells the story of a young British Olympic athlete who on the eve of the London Olympic Games is hit by a thunderbolt, and hurled back to 780BC in ancient Greece where the first Olympic Games are about to be held. There he is caught up in a story which is a cross between Romeo and Juliet, Life on Mars and Clash of the Titans.
The musical will be produced by local Croydon Amateur Dramatic Society - Good Company
It has been accepted by the Royal Shakespeare Company as one of their Open Stages Projects.
It will have its world premier in May 2012 in Croydon - venue still being finalised.
It will then be staged at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall on the weekend of 17th -19th May 2012 the weekend the Olympic flame arrives in Cornwall.
We already have a brilliant production team consisting a number of very experienced individuals from a number of amateur dramatic societies in the Croydon area
We see it as a community project for Croydon to celebrate the London Olympics bringing together the best of the amateur drama world and schoolchildren from Croydon schools
On Sunday there will be a presentation of the musical for anyone interested in being involved - for more details please visit www.OlympustheMusical.co.uk

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Olympus - The Musical - The Start of The Journey

This describes the process, challenges trials and tribulations of creating, producing and staging a major new musical which will have its world premier in May 2012 in Croydon and at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. The blog will no doubt document the highs and low, and the pressures of staging a new musical as we get closer to the date of the production