Author Archive | Kevin Purcell

Exciting News And More On The Way

Kevin_Purcell_Staś_Kmieć

Kevin and Staś

I am in New York as I write this completing work on another project.

During this visit, I have been coordinating with our general managers and executive producers, Perry Street Theatricals, to coordinate the first workshop of Castle Gillian, in New York City in October 2020.

The planning and logistics for this enterprise is, to say the least, complex.  It’s not as we haven’t been through it before, so we’re ever more consciously aware of how much time we need to do all the things that have to be in place for a major three-week workshop of a new musical.

After a number of planning and pre-production meetings over the last ten days, I am delighted to announce the newest addition to the creative team of Castle Gillian is the outstanding New York-based choreographer & Musical Staging Dircetor – Staś Kmieć.

Staś’s credits include the much lauded production of Fiddler on the Roof (performed in Yiddish) that is a surprise hit on the New York theater scene.

Other works include: the LA premiere of My Antonia (music by Stephen Schwartz), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Ireland), Me and My Girl tour, Elephant Man, Don Giovanni,  L’elisir d’amore, Die Fledermaus, Nutcracker, Films – The Comedian, Trust the Man.  Artistic Director: Ballet Western-Reserve, Lubliniacy Folk Ensemble, Sarabande Repertory Ensemble.

Awards include: New York Musical Festival’s “Excellence in Choreography” for the Purcell-Kazan musical – The Mapmaker’s Opera (now titled The Stranger from Seville). Poland’s highest cultural honor – the Oskar Kolberg Award, 2019 Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Citation for “Best Musical Revival.”

He is a member of the professional theatrical unions: Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Actors Equity, Screen Actors Guild-AFTRA, American Guild of Musical Artists.

We Have A Book!

cgcrop12It’s early September as I write this before heading off to Europe later this week for conducting engagements. Victor and I have been working throughout July and August to create the foundation of our work in efforts to complete the initial development work on Castle Gillian over the next 12 months.

OK. Drumrol! We have a complete first-draft of the book for Castle Gillian – and several new songs in the works with the first of these new songs to be released next month on this website.

We can also now announce the timeline for the first complete workshop of this new musical which will be held in September 2020 in New York where we will present the first version of the whole show to prospective investors and producers.

Over the next 12 months, we’ll be posting semi-regular updates on progress, posting new song videos and generally introducing you to our musical stage adaptation of Maurice Walsh’s captivating novel.

More soon,

Kevin

Is There Anything Happening?

cgcrop3I originally began to write this update as to progress on our musical stage adaptation of Castle Gillian with a brief statement intimating that little progress has been made on this project for over a year but, without giving any informed reason as to why this is the case.

Then, I thought, this was a cop-out in terms of not providing an adequate explanation since we are aware that there is a growing level of interest in this work.

So, what is the cause of these incessant delays?

The issue is that we have, so far, failed to develop an adequate treatment of how the stage adaptation should be shaped to transfer a rich and complex narrative; as exists in the novel, to what invevitably has to be a leaner, less complex version for the stage.

In the case of musicals, one of the key questions that has to be answered at the outset is, “whose story is it that we are re-telling?”  We have gone back and forwards on this – over  and over again – trying to determine from which character perspective we will tell the story.

Straight forward you would think but, no, I’m afraid it isn’t. Continue Reading →

Irish Summer Music Schools

Just a quick post to give dates and details of the most famous Irish Music Summer Schools that people have been asking me about.  Also if you’re travelling to Ireland this Summer, then check out this list and dates of music festivals put together by Bob, an Aussie fiddler living in Ireland:

Willie_Clancy_Summer_School

 

Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy

7 – 15 July 2018

is a week-long summer school in traditional music and set dance held annually at Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. After a slow start it gathered momentum to become the premium music school in the country with now over 1200 students each year. Fiddle alone attracts 450 students and there are 26 tutors. The first and biggest of such events, it commemorates the town’s best-known uilleann piper, Willie Clancy, and has been running since just after his death in 1973.

South Sligo Summer School logo

7 – 15 July 2018

 

 

Joe Mooney Summer School

21 – 28 July 2018

 

 

 

Scoil Acla

28 July – 4 August 2018

Feakle Festival

8 – 13 August 2018

The Importance of Field Work in Writing Musicals

cgcrop8I have always wondered whether field research in a writing a new musical was ultimately warranted?  I know the great American musical theatre songwriter, Stephen Schwartz, swears by the benefits of doing so – and it certainly seems to have worked for the great man himself.

Therefore, it should come as no little surprise I have decided that, at least for this project, a research trip to areas of Ireland is a necessity. So I am heading off to do just that in the middle of June after I have fulfilled my requisite obligations in the UK for this year.

The imperative for this trip comes from finishing reading two quite disparate approaches to the societal history of Ireland.  The two books in question are ‘In Search of Ireland’ (1930) by H. V. Morton, and the far better known ‘Ireland – A Novel’ (2004) by that truly marvellous storyteller – Frank Delaney. Continue Reading →