GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST – 6. Tom’s Midnight Garden

Ghost no.6 in the series of GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST is Tom’s Midnight Garden at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick – Christmas 2010.

This one is a little different, as it was one of the shows that I wrote music for, and was Musical Director, but I didn’t actually play for the run of the show. All the music was either recorded, or performed by Actor/Musicians in the cast, or a combination of the two.

This does however gives me a chance to re-visit some of the music I wrote. With Theatre shows, much of what is made – the set, costumes, and of course the music is made for that particular show, and ends up being discarded when the final curtain falls, so it’s nice to be able to give something another outing. Here’s the music I wrote for the skating scene. I’ve recently acquired a new piece of kit – The Spitfire Audio BBC Symphony Orchestra sample library – and this gave me an opportunity to try it out.

Production photos by Keith Pattison

Personal highlights:

> Writing a score for such a beautiful story – written by Philippa Pearce, and adapted for the stage by David Wood.

> Working with another wonderful cast – many of whom I had worked with previously: Dominic Brewer, Pam Buchner, Hayley Doherty, Maria Gough, Peter Rylands, and a trio of fabulous actor/musicians – Nick Dutton, Liam Gerrard and Dan Wexler.

> Being involved in a show – but also being able to sit back and enjoy it as an audience member on the opening night. Ian Forrest always knew how to put together a perfect show for Theatre by the Lake’s particular Christmas audience. As well as audiences made up of school parties, there were also nights full of families, but also some audience made up of mostly adults – and Ian could always make a show to cater for them all. The sets and costumes by Martin Johns were always beautiful too, and made to exactingly high standards. Add to that the lighting design of Jo Dawson, sound design by Andrew Lindsay, and movement / choreography by Ella Vale, and you had a really magical experience.

Not playing for the run of the show leaves me a little short in the anecdotes department this time – but I’m hoping a few of those involved will be able to fill in the gaps……

Please feel free to leave your memories of the show in the comments box below – or on my Facebook and Twitter posts.

This is a very difficult time for those working in the Entertainment Industry, and for theatres, so if you are in a position where you can help out in any way, here are the links to the MU and Equity hardship funds, and to the Theatre by the Lake fundraising page:

Musicians Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund:

Equity Benevolent Fund:

Theatre by the Lake Re-opening Appeal:


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