This creative venture started out with ideas written on post-it notes that I attached to my dressing room mirrors. It was a collection of diary entries, favourite stories told by my best friends, and personal observations about daily pressures we all face. After many Skype meetings with my U.S. creative consultant, Rhonda Carlson, the show began to take form.
A year into the writing process, I performed a reading of the show and it became clear that I wanted Between Us to be a musical. I asked Josef Pitura-Riley, a singer/songwriter from South East London, to write a few musical numbers and some underscoring. Luckily, Josef and I then signed to perform in the same tour so we had a year of collaboration on the piece.
At the end of that tour, we performed a rehearsed reading for the cast and the response was as we had hoped. We took some great feedback from the reading and reviewed the show to refine it for a rehearsed preview performance the following spring.
In May 2017, we did a rehearsed preview performance at The Mermaid Theatre in London for a select audience of friends, colleagues and creatives. The aim of this performance was to gain some constructive feedback to enable us to refine the piece further. This preview proved extremely valuable to our process and the audience response was positively overwhelming. Keith Strachan - television and West End director, musical director, composer and arranger - emailed us in response to the preview, “As a piece of theatre Between Us ticked all the boxes. It was honest, truthful, well written, full of humour, self deprecating and beautifully acted… Josef is a great songwriter. The music and lyrics were surprising and never cliched.”
Rhonda invited Kevan Patriquin to join the creative team as co-director as we then further developed the show, so it was ready for out first public performance earlier this year at The Jermyn Street Theatre. During these rehearsals several revisions of the text were made and Josef wrote two new musical numbers to enhance the piece (I Should Be Enough and Time Flies).
Keen to find the right platform to present Between us to other industry professionals, who can help us to continue the future life of the show, we submitted and were honoured to be selected for presentation at BEAM 2018 industry showcase, co-produced by Mercury Musicals Development and Musical Theatre Network in associaciation with Theatre Royal Stratford East.
Many people have expressed how they relate to the issues and struggles that are explored in the piece and now we would love to find a platform that will allow us to continue the development of Between Us and share it with as many people as possible.