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Show dates: 2-12 August 2017

Venue: Edinburgh Fringe Festival, C Venues,  Chambers Street, EH1 1HR 

Interview with Steven Geraghty, Composer

1. What first interested you about the script?

“Tim suggested this story to me when we wanted to write a musical. It was his first suggestion. I was hooked the moment I read it.
This script has humour, love themes and supernatural happenings that intrigue everyone. It’s so exciting to have so many different levels to this fast-paced show.
We discovered this story many years ago and what is great about it is that we only touch on a small percentage of the plot. All the characters have different backgrounds and stories to tell themselves.”

2. Where did you draw inspiration from when writing the music?

“I love film music, musical theatre and choral music but I always try to listen to whatever style I can. Composers such as Danny Elfman and Hanz Zimmer have always been a part of my life. Jason Robert Brown and Sondheim have crept in into it in more recent years so I’m playing catch up with them.
I’ve tried to make the sound match the time of the piece; but then other moments are totally different, which I hope keeps the audience on their toes. I also love being experimental with rhythms and time signatures.”

3. Were some songs harder to write than others?

“Writing music can be very unpredictable. Sometimes you can write a song in 10 minutes and know that that is the one, and then sometimes you may not finish a song having worked on it on and off for weeks. With Tim’s unique lyrics it made my job very easy a lot of the time. I guess the biggest challenge when writing songs is keeping the essence of the show at heart as much as possible. It’s definitely a very refreshing and rewarding process.”

4. What was your favourite song to write? Is it still your favourite?

“Honestly I love the last few songs of the show as in context they pull on people’s emotions but then I do love hearing the full company sing their numbers together. I don’t have any favourites….”

5. Why do you think Fringe audiences will enjoy it?

“The Poltergeist of Cock Lane is a fast-paced show with many songs and styles packing into a short amount of time that will take you on an unpredictable journey of discovering the truth.”

6. What are you most looking forward to about the fringe?

“I obviously can’t wait for our show to be viewed by complete strangers at the festival but also I can’t wait to be surrounded by so much talent in the city and explore so many people’s creative brains through their work. From comedies to musicals to plays and concerts, the Fringe has everything to offer. I’m just gutted I can’t see it all!”

7. What’s the plan for the show after August?

“Well…let’s see if people like it first!”

About the show

The Poltergeist of Cock Lane, by Tim Connery and Steven Geraghty, is a new musical based on infamous hauntings that took place in London between 1761 and 1762. The musical tells the story of the only time in legal history that a man was charged with murder based on evidence given by a ghost, with the court having to decide if the haunting was real or not.

The musical is part-black comedy, part-supernatural mystery and part- Gothic romance. It is a musical journey into the crazed heart of 18th Century London. A grieving widower, a drunken landlord and a dead wife who won’t rest all come together for a murder trial where the main witness is a ghost. Bizarre, dark, funny and moving, The Poltergeist of Cock Lane is a musical investigation into one of the strangest corners of real London lore.

Cast

Richard Parsons – Alex Dee
William Kent – Alex Blackie
Doctor – Jamie Wright
Captain – Jon Bradley
Francesca Kent – Portia Criswick
Mary – Deborah Lowe
Elizabeth Parsons – Rachel Kitchen
Carrots – Rhoda Green
Judge – Nicholas Dore (Freddy Bowen: London previews)
Jailer – Joe Beecroft

Ensemble – Pollyanna McClachlan, Gemma Miles, Nicola Savage

Creative team

Damian Sandys – Director
Steven Geraghty – Musical Director
Freddy Bowen – Producer

Ben Waterhouse – Technician