This week an historic event happened in Lewes and I was very privileged to witness it.
Lewes Operatic Society staged the World Stage Premiere of a brand new musical, Remember Remember. It is very fitting Lewes, with its great Bonfire tradition, should have been granted this right. The show tells the story of the infamous Gunpowder Plot on 5th November 1605 and the events leading up to it.
It was a tangled web of intrigue and the strong prejudice against Catholics that led to this Plot which, had it succeeded, would have changed the whole of English history.
The Sussex writing team comprising Jasper Kent, Robert Piatt and Robert Starr have been working on this show for four years and the night I went they were there in the audience to see all their hard work come to fruition.
From the moment you walked into Lewes Town Hall there was a buzz of excitement and as soon as the show started you were riveted.
It was very cleverly staged, starting with a back projection of present day fireworks before the Ensemble paid tribute to Bonfire Night in Modern Day Lewes with the opening song Remember Remember.
Then it went back in time to the period between 1603 and 1606. Colin Reynolds lighting and back projections were crucial to the show and transported you to the various scenes starting with the Coronation of James I in Westminster Abbey and ending with the hanging of the conspirators in The Old Palace Yard, Westminster.
I can't single out any one person because everyone from the leading actors to the chorus were superb. This was no amateur production – it was one hundred per cent professional from the direction, choreography, costumes, acting and singing.
It reminded me of Les Miserables and I think if these talented writers can find a professional outlet for their show it will take the West End by storm. The tourists will love it because it is a real piece of English history.
The torture of Guy Fawkes was terrifying. This is not a feel-good musical. Like Les Miserables it is dark and very moving.
It was sold out for the entire run and it is a shame it cannot be seen by a wider audience with the same cast, director and backstage boys and girls.
Remember Remember. Lewes Operatic Society
Lewes Town Hall, October 1 – 4
What did you think of the production?