1- The Play Itself.
I didn't know the story of the Tin Soldier before the writer, Noël Greig, suggested it as an option. I find it a very moving, yet entertaining, poetic piece that follows our Tin Traveler on his epic journey.
2 - Past Success
Tin Soldier continues on the much heralded path of Hood In The Wood and A Tasty Tale, both directed by David Johnston, with music by Lewis Gibson, and both performed at the Royal Exchange. It was Noël’s third play in the trilogy and the last play he wrote before his sad death just over a year ago.
3 - The Director
This is Lewis Gibson’s first major directing job. He and I have worked together, as performers, for over 10 years, and he is always our composer and Musical Director. I have really enjoyed the change in working roles in this show. The key for me is that he has been able to create a wonderful musical landscape (with two very talented musicians in Chris Preece and Nick Haward) whilst still making sure the tale is being told.
4 - The Company
Tangere Arts is small scale touring company, based in the East Midlands, which focuses on high quality theatre for young people and community audiences. Every time I have worked with the company I have been amazed by both its standards and ability to bring the right people together for the right job.
5 - The Royal Exchange and Manchester itself
We all love The Studio at the Royal Exchange. To my mind, it is one of the best theatre spaces in the world. It is intimate and yet impressive and perfect for a piece of storytelling that relies on real engagement from its audience. We just love working with Richard, Vicky, Vanessa, Keith and the whole team, and they work tirelessly all over Christmas and New Year to offer children and families the very best in theatre. Time for a bonus, methinks!
Tin Soldier is at the Royal Exchange Studio from 14 December - 1st January. For more details, click here.