Dog, fun where there’s a Will
PERHAPS it’s Ham on Rye, The Bell Jar, The Virgin Suicides or Catcher in the Rye.
We all have a favourite coming-ofage narrative that weaves an unforgettable kind of magic.
Mark Storen takes great pleasure in highlighting the pivotal moments from boyhood to adulthood in his latest work.
Departing from his usual more adult-themed productions, the Wembley writer-performer-musician presents Benjamin & Me for the AWESOME International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things in October.
A coming-of-age musical adventure, it follows the story of a wildly imaginative boy, Will, and his furry best friend, Benjamin.
“These two characters are great mates and they experience a couple of milestones together that really challenge them and shape how they will move into the next stage of their lives,” Storen said.
The charismatic theatre-maker, known for cabaret, drew from his boyhood when creating Will’s world.
Inspiration came from eccentric family members, the love of his former best mate, Sasha the silky terrier, and wayward adolescent antics like infiltrating his parents’ liquor cabinet.
‘“My grandmother was a pretty interesting lady and often liked to crawl in through windows instead of using the door,” Storen explained.
“Will’s family is quirky in that they support following a different path.
“His dad is an inventor of sorts and has a shed kitted out with all these crazy contraptions. He tells Will to go in and make whatever he wants, so Will makes the first boy-dog operated flying machine and he and Benjamin go on an adventure.”
Aimed at audiences aged eight and over, the stripped-back production, featuring ukulele and illustrations, marks the debut for Storen’s new company, Whiskey & Boots.
Mark Storen was inspired by his quirky family’s approach to life.