Tag Archives | Castle Gillian

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 →

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 →

And We’re (Almost) Back

cgcrop11Well, hello.  I suppose you’ve been wondering whiy we’ve been absent for awhile?  2017 saw some significant changes in the forward planning and personnel attached to the Musical for myriad reasons.  Some of the creative team on this project are also working on The Stranger from Seville – a musical theatre adaptation of the novel, ‘The Mapmaker’s Opera’ by Spanish/Canadian author, Béa Gonzalez.  This project had to take some precedence in the latter half of 2017 to meet some forthcoming deadlines.

The musical stage adaptation of Castle Gillian, however, is very much alive and well.  In fact we will have some exciting news about our revised Creative Team in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned.

Song #1: Hear Me, God

When Kevin first decided to embark on adapting Maurice Walsh’s Castle Gillian for the musical stage, he very early on made clear decisions that demo songs from the show would be written for particular artists in-mind, essentially placing them in the role of the characters from the story.

From the outset, Kevin was adamant that “the perfect person” for the role of young Gillian (Gill) Morris had to be New York Broadway actor-singer, Michael McCorry Rose.

So for this, the first song to be released from the show, Kevin and Michael went into the studio and recorded Gill’s 11th-hour number from Act II entitled, ‘Hear Me, God‘.

STORYLINE: Close to the the deadline on the foreclosure on Castle Gillian, wherein it will become the property of the avaricious and despicable Garrett Ward; and with that eventuality, the likelihood that his sister, Mary Morris being forced into marrying Ward to avert the loss of the once famous racing stables from the family, Gill implores God – whom he has ceased to believe exists from atrocities witnessed during his service in wartime – to answer “one last prayer”.

Michael_McCorry_Rose_2Michael McCorry Rose is a Broadway actor most recently seen in the Tony Award winning musical A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder.  Prior to that, he starred as “Fiyero” in the smash hit musical, Wicked. In New York, Michael has appeared in concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, Symphony Space, Birdland and Feinstein’s/54 Below.

Along with Karl Scully and David O’Leary, Michael is part of the group Tri: The New Irish Tenors. He regularly appears in concert with Academy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin, Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame), their most recent concert was filmed for PBS’s Great American Songbook Concert Series at NJPAC and aired in the summer of 2016. It was recently nominated for a 2017 Regional Emmy Award.

Michael has performed with symphonies and concert orchestras across the United States, most recently starring in a symphonic concert of Chess with the Temecula Valley Symphony in California. Internationally, Michael has performed in concert at the Adelaide Music Festival in Australia, for the U.S. State Department in Nairobi, Kenya and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His theatrical credits include roles at regional theaters such as The Paper Mill Playhouse, Yale Repertory Theater, Primary Stages, Capital Repertory Theater and Project Shaw in New York City. Originally from San Diego, he holds a B.A. in Mass Communication Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he appeared in Carol Burnett’s directorial debut of Once Upon A Mattress.