Today I am filled with an enormous sense of emotion. It is the end of one journey with my latest project that I have been apart of for eighteen months.
Unlike design projects that I get involved in, I feel an enormous sense of relief when a project finishes! By the end of a refurb or a new build, there is always a sense of pride but accompanied by a slight undertone of boredom, as the project’s completion normally means the stress and tension has worn me down!
However, the project I have been involved in has seen one local man’s talent for writing a new stage production five years ago to finally come to realisation at Harrogate Theatre this week.
Keith Humphrey’s clever, witty and emotional musical tells the story of one average man, Lewis Angel’s life slowly falls apart, with the break up of his marriage. As Lewis tries out single life, he is unaware of the things beyond his control, controlled by his conscience, his alter ego or his devil, Twelve.
When I first heard that Keith had written a musical, I was sceptical, as he gad no past experience, and being a lover of musicals, I can normally tell what is bad and good! Keith firstly paired up with the very talented local director Phill Ruddy, who was to put his professional seal of this show. Together they have been unstoppable! They first asked me to design the logo, which would be the branding identity for Boiling Frog. I had the idea is my head as soon as we had our first meeting. The name ‘Boiling Frog’ is misleading as no frogs were harmed in the making of this stage production!!!
We went through different concepts but the leaf and the pocket watch are the two strongest identities that run through as a theme in this show, not to mention XII (Twelve).
Once we had finalised the design, Katie Greenhalf of VWP, took over, she has far more talent in the graphics department than I do, and she designed all the marketing material, brochures and posters.
The team were forming, with the following talents of Matthew Sharrock as music producer, Hannah Ruddy, costume designer, Crista Webber of Cat and Mouse PR, Gary Lawson, official filming and photography to document the making of Boiling Frog and the very talented set designer, Alexander Swarbrick, not to mention Keith’s supportive, patient and gorgeous wife-to-be Jude Humphreys (neé Hutchinson).
This team for ‘Humruddy’ Productions became a solid, hardworking and ambitious team of creatives. As we KNEW this would be something great.
When it came to auditioning, we, as a team were blown away by the talent in North Yorkshire. It was clear that the young talent that was out there was exceptional. Making this a professional performance.
The principle roles to the two leading men Ed Leigh and Christian Lunn are exceptional and for two young men, these two are going places!!
The leading ladies Michelle Beckett and Alex Cawthray have voices that perfectly compliment each other not forgetting their ability to make the audience really feel their emotional pain.
The rest of the cast are strong and there is not one person on that stage who doesn’t deserve the STAR sticker on their dressing room door!
I have now positioned myself as the crew, working alongside Carolyn Roper, who has stage managed us to very last minute!
So this is it, tonight is the last night of THIS stage production of ‘Boiling Frog the Musical’ but the beginning of many more.
Most of all, I am very privileged to have been part of this and especially as I have got to do it with friends!
There will not be a dry eye in the house tonight! WE DID It!!
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