Ellie chats to James Beeny & Gina Georgio the creators of Lady M, a new musical currently in development!
For those who don’t know much about Lady M, would you be able to tell us a little about the show?
Lady M is a new British musical based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In a reimagining of the famous tale, we have woven chilling flashbacks of Lady Macbeth’s past into the main storyline, revealing an original backstory to her villainy and downfall.
What made you decide to focus on the perspective of Lady Macbeth in this adaptation?
We’ve always been fascinated by Lady Macbeth as a character, and this felt like the perfect opportunity to add context to her behaviour. We wanted to make her character relatable by showing her past, and we show a human side to her that invites the audience to sympathise with her to some extent.
You’ve worked with some very talented actors on this project, like Kerry Ellis, Karl Queensborough, Jamie Muscato, George Blagden and many more. What has it been like working with such an incredible cast?
We’ve been very lucky to work with some incredible talent on the project so far. It’s always exciting to see your work on its feet for the first time, but to be able to do this with such amazing actors and a brilliant director (Jean-Pierre Van Der Spuy) and choreographer (Lizzi Gee) made it better still. Recording tracks from the show at Abbey Road with Jamie, Kerry, Karl and Maiya Quansah-Breed was also a very special experience.
How have you found the writing process for this project?
We’ve loved every moment of it. We do all of our writing at home, and it’s an incredibly immersive journey, especially as Lady M is a sung-through musical. We have to have a strong vision of the show from the beginning of the process, and we live and breathe the story and characters. The workshop was incredibly helpful as it was an opportunity to see what we liked and didn’t. After that we locked ourselves away for a few weeks and made any edits that we needed to.
Can you tell us a bit about the process of getting new work on a stage?
There are a number of routes to the stage, but it is of course a complex process. We made the decision at the beginning of the Lady M journey that we wanted to start building an audience for the future production. We’ve started doing this by sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the show on social media. We’ve also used the streaming platforms to share studio recordings of several songs from the show featuring some of the actors that we’ve worked with. We founded our production company Toy Soldier Productions during the pandemic, and this has allowed us to raise the finances required to develop the show to the point where it is stage-ready.
Do you have any advice for young writers trying to break into the theatre industry today?
We really believe in the power of demos. If you can produce clear, well-performed demos of your songs, it is a great way to demonstrate what you do. Ultimately, the main thing is to be committed and believe in yourself. It can take time, but if you think you have a story that needs to be told, just stick with it, keep banging on doors, and you will get to where you want to be.
Finally, can you give us an insight into what we can expect to see in Lady M’s future?
We can’t say too much about the future stage production at this point, but watch this space! We’re planning to release another three Lady M singles over the coming months starring some top West End stars. We’ve co-produced the tracks with the amazing Rik Simpson, who is best known for his work with Coldplay.