The Fire of London - Musical by Butler/Colbourn
Butler-Colbourn's long awaited SELL OUT
Epic Musical, The Fire of London,
Packed houses, Standing ovations lasting 22 minutes on the Final night, 4 curtain calls, 2 encores on the Saturday night as seen here
A story of the courage and determination of the people of London from the devastation of the last months of the Plague and the destruction of the Great Fire of London, through to the hope and expectations of a new rebuilt London. It is told through the words of the ordinary people of London, with diarists Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn providing narration.
The production has everything you would want from a musical, powerful and exciting action packed storyline, a villain, a hero, a fantastic cast, drama, romance, sadness, hcomedy, period costumes, dramatic scenery, a very clever reprise followed by a huge finale, 28 great songs, a AND...... A TWIST!!!
The is an historical musical which is now in production for it's world premier in May with a large cast of both male and female of a range of ages with some dance and in the period costume of 1666. There are 28 very strong, beautiful and memorable songs throughout the 2 1/2 hour production which at times bring the audience to tears, have them gripping the edge of their seats, reduce them to laughter, and will leave the audience humming their favourites for days. This is a brand new, very exciting musical from a very experienced Welsh partnership, with songs which will become household names. The Double Album Fire, will be available from April 2016.
Before you listen to the songs, here is a Brief Scenario of the Musical which starts at the end of The Plague
The Great Plague of 1665 was the last major plague in England. The outbreak began in London in February. Within seven months 100,000 Londoners (20% or one-fifth of the population) were dead. Many fled the capital to escape the disease. The houses were very close together, and hygeine was non existant. To combat the Plague, doctors called Plague Doctor,were brought in to cure or prevent the spread of the plague by treating their symptoms and locking them in quarantine for 40 days. In the belief that the plague was spread by air, to save themselves from catching the plague, the Doctors wore frightening looking masks which had long beaks with glass goggle eyes and long waxed coats and a top hat. To the people of London, the Plague Doctors were evil, though they were actually just Doctors in protective clothing. We are introduced to several character and our hero, who move on into the Fire of London story.
The Great Fire of London
This started in Pudding Lane when the baker failed to dampen the fire, a spark caught the sacks alight, and as the buildings were all built of wood and very close together in very narrow lanes covrered in rubbish, and the summer had been incredibly dry, one spark was all that was needed. The rest of the story unfolds throughout the songs and dialogue.
Scroll down and any of the links to hear the songs from The Fire of London
1665, The end of the Plague
The Plague Overture
The Plague Doctor's Dance Instrumental
The Plague Doctor is initially seen as a villain, as during the Plague it was he who locked the victims in their houses for 40 days, gave them medicine, lanced their boils and tried to save them. The Plague Doctor is tall and thin, dressed in a mask with a long beak and two big round glass ports for his eyes, and wears a long black waxed cloak. He has just locked some new victims in their houses and the starts to dance. His dance is very jerky, angular, all arms and legs. The children hide in the doorways and watch his dance, fascinated but still scared by him, they play What's the time Mr Wolf, they run towards him, he spins round, they scream and run away time and time again..
The Plague Doctor Song
Poor people, men, women and children come on stage, the song starts with them chanting a mournful dirge as church bells toll, but they then see the the Plague Doctor standing in the street, and as they only saw him locking their loved ones who had caught the Plague in their houses, most of whom he cared for with dedication, but died anyway, they see him as a villain, and turn on on him, accusing him of killing their loved ones although he nursed all the plague victims. He is appalled at their ingratitude, but they still loath him and chase him away. Despite it's dark start, this song very quickly has humour in it, and shows the beginning of the character of The Plague Doctor developing, he becomes a really important character throughout the Musical.
William Come a Dancing
Lizzie and William, sweethearts of just 2 months are stting outside a tavern, it is early evening, and candles flicker on the table,/ There is a fiddler playing, and Lizzie feeling the joy of William's company,asks him to dance with her. William's wife Emily, died of the plague some 6 months earlier, and he is still engulfed with love for her. Lizzie wants to dance him, but he is so wrapped up in his feelings of loss for Emily, he shuns her advances and makes excuses for not dancing with her.
Raise a glass to Emily
The ghost of Williams’s deceased wife beloved wife Emily, who died of the plague, performs a shadow dance, a ballet mime of rejection and romance during the song Lizzie is singing. Lizzie gets up from the table and comes to the front of the stage and sings whilst the shadow dancers spin round and round, like a ballerina in a jewellery box.
Haul away Joe
The press gang led by a Naval Officer, march in singing this song.
Oh no, not now
The Press gang have grabbed William, he fights back furiously, and Lizzie pleads for the press gang not to take him as their life together is just beginning. The Naval Officer ignores her pleas, and William is marched away
My fingers are Burnt
Having been so badly treated by the people he spent months caring for during the Plague, The Plague Doctor decides he has had enough of London and the ingratitude of the people, he decides he must leave the City and England, and return to the land he yearns for, his home, his Wales.
Peace Little Brother
This is sung by the 4 orphaned children who survived the Plague. It is sung by younger Adam and the now head of the family, the 15 year old Darcy. The children are scared and alone now, but Darcy is stoic and reassures his younger brother that everything will be alright, but he really does't know how yet..
The Skipping Song
This is a song near the beginning of the musical sung by the children orphans who did not perish during The Plague, they have no families, and nowhere to live. They are skipping and as the rope turns, each child is relating how their families died. Despite the subject, this is a light hearted, humerous song which has a lovely lilt to it, and each child's loved one died in more and more bizarre ways..
A really romantic sing sung by Lizzie who is broken hearted, waiting patiently for the love of her life to come back to her.
1666 - The Great Fire of London
Sung by the Watchmen who are running through Cheapside shouting and bangiging vigorously on doors to warn of the unputoutable Fire which is sweeping through the tinder dry wooden houses, telling people to hurry up and get out. It is a very exciting song which relates where the fire is and describes the explosions and devastation London is about to endure.
We have to save the Tower
The Kings Troopers and Cavalry rush to save the Tower of London, which is full of explosives following the War against Holland. If the Tower caught fire and the gunpowder ignited, the Tower would explode wiping out even more of London. THe Troopers gallop hell for leather to save the Tower. The troopers set explosives and blow up houses, churches and warehouses in an attempt to stop the fire reaching the Tower.
What my heart needs
This is a romantic ballad sung by Lizzie, the female lead, and relates how her heart is breaking following her love, William, being taken by the Press Gang.
Fire Describe by Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn, William and Lizzie
The frightening, exciting drama of the fire is incredibly moving, over Fire Music.
The Bucket Chain Dialogue over music
The Captain Tom Stodgard of the Kings Troopers encourages the people to form a line to the river and back, so they can pass buckets of water to try and put out the fire.This exciting music with spoken passage relates the terrible measures people had to go to to try and save their homes from being engulfed. People are trapped in the burning buildings, which are tinder dry, and the gentleman rescues Lizzie from the inferno of what was her home with William.
I'm off to see the King
Sung by Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator and Member of Parliament who is now most famous for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man. He travelled around London to see the extent of the fire so he could go to the Court of King Charles II to relate the position and extent of the fire. It is a light hearted song, relating Pepy's progress and what he saw. It is a song which shows Pepy's in ha somewhat pompous avein, as hew considers his own self importance. He pushes the people out of the way who are fleeing by taking barges to escape over the river, and commandeers a barge, stating 'if you would just get out of my way, I'm a very important man.'
Magical Castles and Streams
Our hero rescues little Lucy, one of the orphans, from a burning building. The children have nowhere to go and no one to look after them, so our hero, Cadogen, says he will take care of them and give them a home.
Prior to Pepys arriving in Court in Whitehall to tell of the Fire, Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke are standing looking out of the window at the orange glow they are seeing from the St Pauls area of London and the expolsions they are hearing. They are discussing what the glow could be, and are the explosions artillery fire, thunder, the Dutch? The Queen and King James II join in, asking what could be the cause of the explosions and bright glow.
Oh me feets is burning
Maggie is aged 40 at plus and is an ex- hairdresser now works in the Tavern. She is larger than life, funny, caustic and very Cockney. She tries to be better than she is and drops howlers. Janet, her maid, also on the larger side, any age. This is a a comic Cockney role with a most catch chorus. She is nagged and browbeaten but finally rebels and tell her mistress in no uncertain terms what she thinks of her in a comic duet as they flee the fire.
Fairwell to my City
The four children, Darcy, Adam, Lucy and Ellen are standing on Highgate Hill, looking down on the smoking, charred remains of what was their home, the old London City. They sing this poignant song, reflecting on what once was.
The Bargees of Old London Town
This is a lighthearted song sung by the Bargees who having made a financial killing charhing huge amounts to ferry fleeing Londoners and their goods across the river for 4 days, meet in the tavern and get hugely drunk and merry. The Fire of London was good for them.
Finale Part One
King Charles tells the crowd that he is going to command London to be re-built, using bricks and stone. The Fire will never take London again.
What a Cathedral
This is the pre-finale song, sung mainly by Christopher Wren, and Robert Hooke, both of whom designed St Paul's Cathedral, with the whole cast sing the chorus. It is a triumphant song talking about rebuilding London after the fire, describing how St Pauls is to be a mighty cathedral without a spire, and Wren and Hooke are rebuilding the London Skyline.The King, Wren, Hooke and the Queen have two passages of speech, which is very witty, having had us in stitches when we recorded it! This is a rousing song with a memorable chorus that audiences can sing along to and go away humming for days.
The Fire of London Finale
You meet all the characters again here in a medley of all the leading songs. The kids, the orphans, the Plague Doctor, William, Lizzie, Pepys, Wren, Hooke, The King, The Queen, The Troopers, they all reprise their own themes in this uptempo rousing song with the whole cast. A great Finale song with the BIG twist.
The recorded songs from the musical are performed by Perryn Butler, Gaynor Colbourn, Holly Robinson, Matt Collins, Mike Forwood, Tom Bryant of Amazonne, with guest vocals from Chris Didcote, Aaron Pryce-Lewis and Colin Bell. Bob Thomas plays drums on The Plague Doctor's Dance. Arranged by Perryn and Gaynor and Recorded and Produced by Gaynor with assistant sound engineer. Ollie Hovey.
Guest singers, Rosey Cale, Aaron Pryce-:Lewis and Chris Didcote
Contact us on 01994 484732 if you want further information on putting on a production of The Fire of London.
Perryn Butler and Gaynor Colbourn
Leading Welsh Musical Theatre Composers
Perryn, librettist and singer, ( and a well known Sculptor ) has had a connection with Musical Theatre, Ballet and Opera since she was in her late teens. Her sister was principal ballerina for the Berlin Opera and Ballet Company, and is now the Director of the Company. She is an outstanding wordsmith, creating lyrics of great beauty as well as witty and powerful. Her use of words within rhythm is particularly important within the musical theatre libretetto's which she produces with much empathy for the characters. She and Gaynor have been composing together for 25 years, and have a substantial catalogue of songs, recordings, musical theatre productions, of which Fire is the most ambitious yet.
For more information about Perryn Butler, Internationally renowned Sculptor
Classically trained Pianist, Cellist and Composer, Gaynor, has been involved in Classical Composition, Musical Theatre, Session Work, Composition for Film and TV, Band Performance since she left Music College. She has composed 2 symphonies and one Concerto, both performed and aired by the BBC. She has worked with both male voice and Lady's choirs, including the Morriston Orpheus Choir, and was the President of the Welsh Festival opf Choirs. Coming from a family where her grandmother was an Opera Singer and performer with the D'oyly carte opera company, her father a horn player for the RAF Squadronaires, and cousin who was the principal organist for The Royal Albert Hall, music has ingrained all spheres of music into her soul.Her interest and involvemeny in Musical Theatre goes back to when she was at Music Academy in London, and appeared in many Productions, arranged, scored and composed songs for these.She had had, over the years, 3 BBC TV Programmes and 2 BBC Radio 2 items on her and her work, and also two Independant TV Programmes, so along with her TV Session work, has much experience in the Media.
Gaynor Colbourn and Jennie-Loriston Clarke were instrumental in the conception of Dressage to Music, and Gaynor is world renowned as the leading producer ofr Tailor-Made Music for Dressage.
Aaron Pryce-Lewis (born 23 June 1995) is a Welsh actor and singer, best known for his work in musical theatre.He is from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and was educated at Sir Thomas Picton School before going on to train further at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and the Royal College of Music in London.In May 2015 Aaron was one of four soloists performing in the Royal Albert Hall as part of a Massed Male Voice Choir concert. He was the last soloist to appear in the event and perfomed "If I Can't Love Her" from Beauty and the Beast (The Musical), "My Little Welsh Home" by W. S. Gwynn Williams, and "Being Alive" from Company. He was the only soloist to receive a standing ovation.In October 2014 Aaron Competed in the Bryn Terfel Scholarship which was aired live on S4C and Radio Wales. He performed "Aros Mae'r Mynyddau Mawr" by Meirion Williams, "Non Piu Andrai" from Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro', and "Anthem" from Chess.Aaron performs many of the songs recorded for Fire, and is also working with Perryn and Gaynor and sharing t his very up to date involvement in Musical Theatre, and Contemporary works.Aaron performs many of the songs recorded for Fire, and is also working with Perryn and Gaynor and sharing t his very up to date involvement in Musical Theatre, and Contemporary works.
A Formidable Team Indeed
Wales has produced a great symphonic and choral tradition which deserves to be better known universally, not just in the country of its birth, but throughout the United Kingdom, and the world. It is music of great depth and nobility, and embodies the splendour and sometimes strange beauty of its ancient hills, myths, language and landscapes. Music is and has always been a very important tradition to the people of Wales, with a heritage of Welsh Folk Music and Hymns, Male Voice and Ladies Choirs, the Eisteddfod, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Duffy, David Grey. We have the outstanding Welsh Opera singers, Bryn Terfel, Kathryn Jenkins, Wynne Evans, and from Musical Theatre we have top West End Stars Connie Fisher and Rhydian Roberts. Wales boasted Operatic Composer, Alun Hoddinot, who died in 2008, and Musical Theatre Composer Ivor Novello died in 1951. BUT, since then, Wales has not had the pleasure of a professional composer producing Musicals worthy of the West Endand Broadway UNTIL NOW.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There are not many composers of Musical theatre who come from Wales.
David Ivor Davies (15 January 1893 – 6 March 1951), better known as Ivor Novello, was a Welsh composer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century.
Perryn Butler from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, co composer of two musicals with Gaynor Colbourn, Tutankhamun ( 2008) and The Fire of London (2015). Perryn writes all the lyrics, the scripts and some of the music.
Gaynor Colbourn, from Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire, composer of several TV theme music pieces, advertisements and the Sir Benfro Symphony. co writes with Perryn Butler. She is the main composer of the music, and as a multi-instrumentalist and classically trained musician, does the majority of the arrangements.