“She sang a melody of the hope of the springtime”
It’s not often that you’ll find me championing the cause of puppetry on here but in The Wicker Husband, a new folk musical based on an original short story by Ursula Wills-Jones, we just have such a thing. With book and story by Rhys Jennings and music and lyrics by Darren Clark, The Wicker Husband will be an unconventional musical combining puppetry, folk music and dance to weave the tale of an Ugly Girl and her understanding of the cruel world she lives in. It is the story the Outsider, of self-acceptance in a society that tells us what it is to be “Ugly”.
And if that sounds like your cup of tea, then you’re in luck. As the guys launched an online crowdfunding campaign for further development of the project and as it stands, have reached well over a third of their target. In the cutthroat world of commercial theatre, especially musical theatre, you have to admire the determination of the creative team, bolstered by director/dramaturg Charlotte Westernra, in finding alternative ways to develop their work. The campaign is scheduled to end on 2nd April and it would be fantastic to see them reach their goals so watch the story-so-far video below and then head over to http://bit.ly/wickerhusband to see the range of incentives to help you make your mind up on how much you want to donate!
As a proper taster of the show itself is the gorgeous Laura Wickham’s beautiful rendition of the song ‘The Sparrow’s Tale’, accompanied by a group of talented musicians who really give a sense of how the ‘folkiness’ of the score has the potential to be utterly beautiful, evoking the splendour of Howard Goodall’s The Hired Man (arguably the best British musical of recent times). Such music deserves the chance to be heard and no puppet-phobia will get in the way of me supporting The Wicker Husband and I hope you’ll feel the same way too.