A Joyful Rebirth

To excited cries of delight, today we witnessed the rebirth of Stuff and Nonsense – The Musical into its streamlined form with extended narrative. Newly orchestrated for 4 -piece band this feast of entertainment for all the family is in 2 Acts and explores, through music and dance, Lear’s interactions with Doctor Calico and Old Foss as they assist him in journeying through his imaginary Jumblylands.

Through 29 scripted scenes and musical numbers you can enjoy Lear’s creative nonsense world of the Jumblies: Doctor Calico; the Dong and Julie Jumbly; Jolly Pobble and Aunt Jobiska; the Yonghy Bonghy Bo and Lady Jingly; the Scroobious Pip; Old Foss and Mister Owl; the Quangle Wangle Quee; and, of course, Mister Lear himself.

How mad is he really?

Is there such a thing as ‘normal’?

Full of earworms and innovative choreography, Stuff and Nonsense – The Musical promises to become a number 1 favourite with children and adults alike.

Stuff And Nonsense ‘Lite’ Sees The Light Of Day

A thrilling few weeks of rewriting, rebalancing, replacing and revising has resulted in a plan to progress our ‘Lite’ version of Stuff and Nonsense – The Musical.’  That’s the 1% imagination, now for the 99% perspiration! This version will require only 7 performers to take on the 16+ characters. The majority of the original songs are to remain with only minor changes to words in a few places. There will also be a much-strengthened storyline to involve the three main characters of Mr Lear, Old Foss and Dr Calico.

Watch this space for news of this its rebirth.

Stuff And Nonsense ‘Lite’ – An Alternative Approach

Such a productive meeting recently between our team and Iwan Lewis, Artistic Director at The Barn Theatre in Cirencester to explore possibilities with ‘Stuff And Nonsense – The Musical’.

He was very enthusiastic about the concept and freely gave some great advice – many thanks Iwan – including the challenge of reshaping the show from its current full-scale production to using smaller numbers of interchangeable performers. Brilliant! We’re now looking forward to the rewriting and  workshopping it with a smaller cast and strengthened narrative. This will, in turn, inform the already-planned revision of the full show, so it should be a ‘win-win’ for both formats.

Our full show is already copyrighted through the UK Copyright Service with Registration Number 284716259, so once our ‘lite’ version has been workshopped we’ll re-register both versions.

It’s so satisfying that we’re getting such good feedback – can’t wait to see what the rewrite looks and sounds like!

Our Musical Adventures Come To Fruition

Hello there, adventurous musical-theatre-goer!

Edward Lear here, author of ‘The Complete Works Of Edward Lear’. I am truly delighted that my nonsense writings are being given a fresh twist as a lively musical for all the family. Yes, even the dog might have a good ‘woof’ of delight, and I’d expect at least a gentle purr of approval from all the Old Fosses out there too!

‘Stuff And Nonsense – The Musical’ is inspired by some of my most-beloved characters, so let me introduce you to our singing and dancing Jumblies …

whose heads are green and hands are blue, Doctor Calico, the Dong with a luminous nose who fell in love with a Jumbly Girl, and the mysterious Akond of Swat. Come and say ‘Hello’, to the Pobble who has no toes and his Aunt Jobiska, the King and Queen of the Pelicans, their daughter Dell, her beau  –  King Crane (who .. ssshhh … has no webs between his toes). ‘Welcome’, says the Yonghy Bonghy Bo and his beau, the Lady Jingly, and the enigmatic Scroobious Pip, and the Owl and the Pussycat. Lend an ear to Mr Lear, the Quangle Wangle and a multitude of beasts, birds, fish, insects who are all full of Stuff and Nonsense.

Come and join them as they cavort and explore the fantastic Jumbly Lands of Bong Trees, Twangum Trees, Crumpetty Trees, the Western Seas, the Torrible Zone, the streams and hills of the Chankley Bore, the Great Gromboolian Plain, the shore of the Bristol Channel. Travel with us to the Nile, the wild and shingly coast of Coromandel, the slippery slopes of Myrtle, and, beyond the Bay of Gurtle, the sunset Isles of Boshen and the Land of Tute.

I hope you enjoy this creative, imaginative and joyfully fantastical extravaganza for all ages … filled with Stuff and Nonsense

Author’s Note:

Important decisions have been made to enable Lear’s collected writings – ‘The Complete Nonsense Of Edward Lear’ – to be performed as a stage musical.

All the characters are now brought to life under the collective term of ‘Jumblies’. As long as they’ve got some semblance of green hair and blue hands, they’re in the family! Some of the longer poems have been divided into more bite-size sections for modern audiences to appreciate, but also to emphasize important emotional changes within the narrative. Some previously briefly-mentioned characters have been elevated to larger roles, and new limericks to enhance the narrative – which are not published elsewhere – have been created for each of these characters to allow further development. In many places original words have been changed from third to first person to help personalise the songs.  In short, several liberties with Lear’s original writings, and the show feels all the better for it!

John Mills,  April 1st 2018

‘We went to sea in a sieve, we did, in a sieve we went to sea!’ The Jumblies

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