Stu­dents get Ben’s num­ber note per­fect

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

EDGE Hill Mu­si­cal The­atre stu­dents have been work­ing with Bafta-nom­i­nated mu­si­cal the­atre prac­ti­tioner Ben­jamin Till on his lat­est mu­si­cal, Em.

Af­ter stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in a “read through” of an early draft of the show last year, the award-win­ning com­poser re­turned to the univer­sity ear­lier this month to help them record a ver­sion of one of the mu­si­cal’s most vi­brant num­bers and film an ac­com­pa­ny­ing mu­sic video.

Set in Liver­pool in 1965, Em tells the tale of an un­mar­ried teenager des­per­ate to keep a baby the au­thor­i­ties want to take away from her.

The show is a har­row­ing, gritty, but ul­ti­mately up­lift­ing tale of friend­ship, class and love, against the back­drop of a city which is burst­ing into colour.

Ben­jamin said: “It was a gen­uine plea­sure to work with the mu­si­cal the­atre stu­dents at Edge Hill Univer­sity.

“I’ve to­tally fallen in love with them! I was bowled over by their com­mit­ment, en­thu­si­asm and work ethic and I’m hugely ex­cited about the film we made to­gether.

“It was thrilling to bring Em, which is a deeply per­sonal story, home.”

The stu­dents worked with Ben­jamin to record their ver­sion of the song The Pool in Edge Hill’s record­ing stu­dios, which is to be in­cluded on Em’s of­fi­cial cast al­bum as a bonus track.

They also filmed an ac­com­pa­ny­ing mu­sic video at var­i­ous Liver­pool lo­ca­tions.

Re­cent Edge Hill dance graduate Alice Lap­worth, who chore­ographed the num­ber, said: “I am thrilled to be work­ing with mu­si­cal the­atre stu­dents from Edge Hill.

“This project is a great op­por­tu­nity for them to ex­pe­ri­ence the fast paced, cre­atively vi­brant in­dus­try that will sur­round their ca­reers.

“As an emerg­ing artist my­self, Edge Hill is pro­vid­ing me with a fan­tas­tic chance to build my pro­fes­sional port­fo­lio.”

Multi-award-win­ning com­poser and film maker Ben­jamin Till has worked pro­fes­sion­ally in the­atre and tele­vi­sion for more than 20 years.

He has made more than 15 mu­si­cal films (largely for the BBC and Chan­nel 4), re­leased four al­bums, worked as a cast­ing di­rec­tor in fea­ture films, com­posed clas­si­cal works for the con­cert plat­form, and writ­ten five stage mu­si­cals in­clud­ing Brass, Be­yond The Fence and Em.

He is per­haps best known as the writer/con­ceiver (and one of the grooms) from Chan­nel 4’s hugely suc­cess­ful, Bafta-nom­i­nated Our Gay Wed­ding: The Mu­si­cal.

The project with Ben­jamin was or­gan­ised by Edge Hill mu­si­cal the­atre lec­turer Clare Chan­dler.

Ben­jamin said: “Clare keeps her ear per­ma­nently to the ground, is a great sup­porter of Bri­tish mu­si­cal the­atre and brings in re­ally in­ter­est­ing prac­ti­tion­ers to work with the stu­dents.”

Edge Hill Mu­si­cal The­atre stu­dents work­ing on Ben­jamin Till’s lat­est mu­si­cal, Em

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