When I started out, I wrote and directed a new musical called Crimes of Passion at the Players Theatre. The premise was a bit like Company meets Sweeney Todd and The Stage reviewer at the time said 'there are more corpses at the end of the piece than Macbeth!' I felt it was important to go back to the drawing board! But in that show, there was a charming love triangle amongst all of the killings. Two boys, a girl and a gay or straight scenario. I took away a handful of the songs and after I got the macabre out of my system, I developed a new musical comedy with a off-Broadway style and that development became When Harry met Barry. With music arrangements by Simon Walters and Giles Edwards, myself and Simon recorded a full demo. At the same time, it was announced that the Vivian Ellis Awards for new musicals was advertised so it made sense to apply. The musical was whittled down and finally it began life as one of the winners of the Vivian Ellis Awards at the London Palladium. A twenty minute extract of the show gave a standing ovation and the prospects looked bright for a rosy future. The piece was picked up and the first production opened at Upstairs at the Gatehouse to full houses and rave reviews with staging by Craig Revel Horwood. The musical was signed straight away for the West End and the Duchess Theatre was the venue decided upon to be the best option. But the producer had just opened a big musical at the Shaftesbury Theatre and after the trials and tribulations - it casted doubts on the future of When Harry met Barry and indeed those concerns were confirmed. A couple of years later and with a revised script, three West End previews were staged at The Leicester Square Theatre by Karen Bruce. Then nothing happened. It felt it was the end of the road for this small musical with a big heart!
But out of the blue, a producer who saw the original production invited to open a new production in Rome. The excitement grew once again. The musical was translated in Italian and the main song of the show became the title as Chiedimi se voglio la Luna (Why ask for the moon). With innovative sets and designs the musical became smart and sexy. Then soon after that, a true friend and director Tim McArthur staged a new production at Above the Stag theatre in Victoria and the run had to be extended due to demand. But as the saying goes 'musicals aren't written but rewritten' so I have looked at the show once again and a few songs are going in favour of a couple of brand new ones and scenes been reworked on.
So what's the future now? Rome are working on a new production for the stage prior to the movie produced by Giuseppe Gallo for Pictureshow. And a new workshop in Spring 2016 prior to a production in New York. But I do believe that if a show has enough heart...it will keep beating on and on.
Meet Hector. Hector used to go out with Alan who is now going out with Eddie who just met Gucci, the house boy, and Pippin, the Drama Queen. And yes, Hector’s the one in the bad drag...
In the course of the evening, Hector, Alan, Eddie, Gucci, and Pippin reveal their hopes and fears as they still find themselves coming to terms living with HIV. And some of them are obviously dealing with it better than others. Yet, despite of their personal differences or circumstances of how things came to be, the boys "in the club" know that they will always find comfort in each other.