New Musicals Network would like to warmly recommend the musical, Below Stairs (which will undoubtedly appeal to all aficionados of Downton Abbey!)
After 14 stage productions and one concert version, the musical is gradually winning fans and audiences, helped by a believable storyline and memorable melodies. Premiered in 2002 in Chesham, the show was written by Trevor Pilling with a score by Alan Lewis, who found composing helped take his mind off a series of three life-threatening cancers (colon, liver and lung). Because of this the writers decided to offer the show free of royalties and instead to ask simply that money be raised for Cancer Research UK: as a result, the last 12 productions have generated more than £7000 for the cause.
This June will see the 15th production. It is being put on in Old Windsor by the Riverside Players whose first production was exactly ten years ago. Since the, according to director Kay Smith, there has been a steady stream of requests from members of the cast and audience alike for a repeat production as it was enjoyed so much in 2004. In fact, this will be the second time that a society has chosen to repeat the show, as Utopian Operatic Society staged it in 2004 and again in 2007.
Below Stairs is a story of servants’ lives in a large London home in 1914 at the start of the First World War.
For further information on the show – including the fact that both the lib and the piano score can be downloaded free of charge from the website – go to www.belowstairsshow.com. Auditions for Riverside’s June production will be held at 8pm on Thursday 3 April 2014 at the Memorial Hall, Old Windsor.