Benny and the Greycats -lifting the lid

Off to Sheffield!

It’s with great excitement that we are bringing the next stage of development of Benny and the Greycats to my home town of Sheffield, as we spend a week at Sheffield Theatres.

This new piece of theatre is inspired by my family who were Jazz musicians in South India. When they emigrated to Sheffield in the 1960s, they continued to be part of the local music scene.

Here at Maya Productions, we are always looking to find new ways of telling compelling stories about diverse communities. We like to experiment with how theatre works and who it’s for. Exploring the story of Anglo-Indian Jazz musicians, in this city with its own tradition of music, brings something rather unique.

In recent months the play seems to have taken a life of it’s own. We’re looking at it as musical theatre. This means lots of lyric writing  for me, as we tell the story though song. Riz Maslen, our composer, has been picking up these lyrics and transforming them into songs that keep going round and round in my head. Can only be a good sign.

Next week we will be joined by Mike Gorman,  a fantastic musician, and also my cousin, who has already started creating evocative piano motifs to add to Riz’s compositions. And to keep us on track with our musical theatre form, is award winning writer, musician and dramaturg Paul Sirett who has been a key part of this process from the start when we started exploring ideas at Barbican Open Lab.

From mid-week onwards we are then joined by a group of actor singers.

I can’t wait to get into that rehearsal room. Watch this space for more!

Suzanne Gorman – Artistic Director