‘Something Wonderful in My Back Yard – The musical’ started it’s life with the working title: Transition Town – The Musical and was originally conceived by producer Chloe Uden.
This sparkling new musical will be written by Matt Harvey and Thomas Hewitt Jones, the team behind Rumpelstiltskin, this year’s hit Christmas show at The Egg Theatre, Bath. (Musical extract below)
We want to communicate the breadth and ambition of the Transition movement – to show that resistance is fertile, a half-full glass can be rose-tinted and, crucially, that if you reach for the stars you might just get to the pub.
How can we possibly hope to do justice to such a diverse, ambitious worldwide movement in a musical? How can we not misrepresent it? The answer is: we’re not sure – but we intend to misrepresent it as accurately as we possibly can. We believe a musical is a great way to celebrate the Transition movement as, quite literally, something worth making a song and dance about.
We don’t yet know the particulars of our story – the Transition movement is alive with stories – the plan is to weave a witty, warm-hearted tale of dreamers and do-ers addressing the practical, emotional and philosophical questions thrown up by climate change and oil dependency. They’ll forge friendships, fall out, make-up, and do it all to catchy tunes and big dance numbers. We want to hear generational sing-offs, a Hedge Fund chorus, meet a SWIMBY* protest group, and create a joyous, uplifting musical that brings a bit of Broadway to raised beds everywhere.
“When Matt first mentioned the idea of “Transition Town: The Musical”, I couldn’t help laughing. There was something silly about it, but at the same time something rather wonderful. Doing Transition has many of the elements of great musicals: drama, moments of high tension, highs of great choral unity, moments when it all locks in beautifully and it feels more exhilating than anything else, and the fact that it needs a whole cast, not just one or two heroes. This is something designed to be performed by communities, and I really hope it becomes the ‘Billy Elliot’ for community activists, the ‘We Will Rock You’ for community energy, and the ‘West Side Story’ of rooftop gardeners. The world needs this musical. Please support it!“.
Matt, Thomas and Chloe in conversation with Rob Hopkins:
This musical will be written for schools, amateur dramatic groups, Transition groups – in fact any group to that wants to engage their wider community in the challenging questions facing people across the world – in a friendly, uplifting and inspiring way.
We hope to introduce some of the principles shared by the Transition Movement and tell a very human story of change. We have been particularly inspired by Transition events and initiatives in our own towns.