Clockwork, New Musicals and Fringe Fun: Interview with Musicality

With a new musical, Like Clockwork, premiering at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer, Impact Arts spoke to director and co-writer, Dominic Howlett and co-writer Tom Martin about all things Musicality!

Can you give us a sneak peek into the world of your musical, what is it about?

Both: Grace has a fairy tale life; she has the perfect house in a perfect city. There’s just one problem she’s completely in love with her oblivious roommate. When Grace inherits a magical, mischievous clock, her life is turned upside down and she begins to realise exactly what she’s been missing. The award-winning Musicality society from the University of Nottingham and their talented cast bring us an energetic and unforgettable new work, packed full of stunning vocals and cheerful comedy.

What made you decide to write and direct an original musical?

Dominic Howlett: Writing an original musical has allowed us to have complete creative freedom. We are not confined or influenced by what has come before us. It has been incredible watching the music and characters come to life.

What influences helped create Like Clockwork?

DHWe wanted to explore the ideas and themes that are found in many classic Disney films. We love the way in which these films are able to remain child-friendly while still appealing to an older audience. We have tried to create a comic blend between the average life of the modern student and the fantastical world of musical theatre. The final result is the classic story of boy meets girl meets talking clock.  

There’s no musical, unless there is music! How did you go about creating the music for the production?

Tom Martin: Dom would tell me what I needed to write songs about and we’d sit down together until I jammed out something that sounded good. The lyrics were a fairly joint effort between us. I then arranged the songs with my friend Dino, who did the lion’s share of that work, and voila! We had some songs!

What has been your greatest challenge so far?

TM: Putting a musical together with the collective funding of a group of students, i.e. £4.50 and a Groupon for half price Domino’s!

Like Clockwork is making its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe this August! What made you decide to take your production to Edinburgh, and how are you feeling about the Fringe experience?

DH: Fringe is the perfect place to experiment with new ideas and styles. There is a wonderful creative atmosphere and sense of community. Everyone is in the same position and we all want each other to succeed. I cant imagine starting our run anywhere else!

Out of the thousands of shows at the Fringe this year, what makes Like Clockwork special?

TM: It’s got something for everyone. The music is reminiscent of the sixties at times, the silliness will appeal to kids, there’s a social commentary about the sort of things students go through and the sort of people they meet. People will love the characters and I think the fact that all of them are flawed without there being one real villain makes it quite interesting.

Sum up your production in three words:

Both: Like Clock Work!

Amy Wilcockson

Image with thanks to ‘Like Clockwork’.

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