Sunday, 31 July 2016

Ruby's Reprise: Elizabeth Godber on the Dramaturgy of Music in Theatre

The idea of the performance as a gig: what qualities do you think make this the case? What do they share?

I definitely think that music can make a performance into a gig in a way, but I think musical theatre is always telling a story, and that’s the difference. That is the thing about ‘Ruby and the Vinyl’, there are great stand-alone songs, but when they all come together they tell a story. A gig doesn’t do that, unless it’s some sort of concept album.

Are there any musicians you'd point to as an influence - or a pleasure that may not influence but gives some sense of your approach to music?

I am not the songwriter, but I know that Ruby is heavily influenced by music of the 1950s and 60s - very do-wop, and also very acoustic. A little bit like early Elvis mixed with a female Johnny Cash…

What is gained by live musicians on stage?

Having three talent musicians on stage in ‘Ruby and the Vinyl’ in an absolute joy because it allows them to be so responsive to the audience. Recorded music cannot change in every performance. I also think there’s something really special about being in an audience and watching live musicians, it’s a performance just for you, and there’s nothing like listening to live music!

And is anything lost?

Maybe you can’t get as many layers of instruments or as many different sounds, but, I would pick acoustic live music over multi-layered digital sound any day.

Ruby and the Vinyl, a new pop-up acoustic musical set in a Hull thrift shop will open at Underbelly’s White Belly Venue on 3rdAugust

Written by Olivier Award and double BAFTA winner John Godber, and emerging talent, BFI film academy screenwriter and winner of Best Play award at the Ovation theatre awards, Elizabeth Godber, the production will run nightly at the Cowgate venue until 28th August.

The show features original songs, written and performed by Yorkshire based retro pop siren Ruby Macintosh, a BA first-class honours LIPA graduate who studied song-writing under Paul McCartney at the world renowned arts institution.

Ruby's self titled debut album is currently on release, and she is a listed BBC Introducing Artist. She is joined by two Hull University drama first years; East Yorkshire girl Grace Christiansen (whose album Three Corners is currently available on iTunes) and musician and singer Jake Marsden from Halifax, in a tale of love, communication problems, second-hand clothes, retro, vinyl and box sets.

This multi-talented group were described by the Musical Theatre Review as a **** ‘breath of fresh air!’ 

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