Monday, 14 May 2012

What If...?

Monday May 21st brings us a new plays by P-P newcomer Phil Mison. Here's his blurb:


Their story has been told in hundreds of books and a million articles. John, Paul, George and Ringo. The Beatles. The biggest group in the history of popular music. Despite half the world’s population being born after their last collaborative recorded work, the mass appeal remains as strong as ever, the Beatles appeal seemingly timeless.

This highly original piece plays with the facts, and the personalities, to hurl the Beatles story into a capricious and arresting vortex by suggesting ‘What if Lennon and McCartney HADN’T made it? It’s fiction yes, but not fantasy. This treatment shows how easily it could have happened.

Diligently researched to get under the skin of our protagonists and portray this all too believable story, the drama takes a delicious path with The Beatles back in 1962 about to release their debut single for EMI. Six years on from his first schoolboy ‘performance’ fronting The Quarry Men at a Liverpool church fete, founder John Lennon is no nearer hitting the big time. Our play opens by portraying the moment that summer the group fail an audition on the UK’s then biggest TV talent show. Frontmen John and Paul may have developed some form of stage presence – more out of bravado than anything – but neither new recruit Ringo nor a nervous George give any hint of star quality.

This work is categorically not another juke box musical, nor has it been written as a hagiography for Beatles fans. Themes of serendipity, fortune and human frailty are universal and Shakespearian in scope. By choosing to explore a life for John and Paul where ambition is thwarted and dreams wither, questions are asked on life’s great imponderables and how we all react to adversity and misfortune. The piece determines to show the Liverpool lads as ‘just like us,’ a trait they successfully retained throughout their careers, despite the madness of superstardom and public scrutiny. This is a powerful, compassionate, bittersweet, reverential, thought-provoking, humorous play with a heart-wrenching finale to agitate emotions and resonate with a mass audience, should they be fans of The Beatles or not.

Authors note: The reading for May 21st is an abridged radio play edit tailored for presentation to Radio 4. The duration will be approximately 45 minutes.

Next Monday, at 7.45. Be there.

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