nightingaleTonight sees the one and only preview for THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALE at Theatre by the lake before tomorrow’s opening night. We’re all ready for an audience now – hope they enjoy it!!

You can find production details, and buy tickets here:


Christmas in China! (..sort of)

18134 The Emperor and the Nightingale new image v5Rehearsals have started today for the Christmas show at Theatre by the Lake. This year’s production is THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALENeil Duffield‘s reworking of the tale by Hans Anderson, set in ancient China. The piece will be performed by 8 talented actor musicians, and features a score written by myself, and which is heavily influenced by traditional Chinese music. Day 1 has consisted of introducing the cast to some of the new instruments they will be tackling, including the Guzheng and the Dizi, and starting to learn some of the songs. We also had a fabulous read through of the script, and got to see the amazing set and costume designs by Martin Johns. Tomorrow will see the start of getting the show on it’s feet with Director Ian Forrest and movement director Bronya Deutsch. If you’re up near the Lakes this Christmas then please feel free to come and catch the show, which previews on Nov 25th, and opens on the 26th:

Changes to national insurance regulations for Musicians and Entertainers

This would be of huge benefit to musicians. You don’t have to be in the Musicians Union to do it. It takes 10 seconds.

Over the past six months, the MU have been trying to get the Government and HMRC to change the regulations that state that self-employed  musicians now fall under Class 1 National Insurance (NI).

The current situation poses huge problems for musicians  and for those who engage musicians as a result of them having to pay  employees’/employers’ NI.

Film producers, who bring lucrative inward investment  into the UK’s creative economy by way of recording soundtracks for films, are  expressing concern about engaging UK musicians as a result of the extra  expense. If these regulations are not repealed, we may also see the closure of  a number of orchestras.

A consultation document has now been published by HMRC  which supports the MU’s arguments, but it is vital that as many musicians as  possible respond.