NEWS: Adam Lenson directs Sorrows of Satan musical premiere

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A brand new musical play based on one of the world’s first bestselling novels comes to Tristan Bates Theatre for a six-week run in 2017. The Sorrows of Satan is written by musical theatre writing duo Bateman and Conley and directed by Adam Lenson. It will run from 14 February to 25 March 2017, with a press night on 21 February.

Based on Marie Corelli’s 1895 controversial bestseller, this new musical play reimagines the story of Faust in the heart of a corrupt 1920s London, where the elite are financially and emotionally bankrupt and one man has a big decision to make.

Pretentiously avant-garde musical playwright Geoffrey Tempest has been kicked out of his accommodations with not a penny to his name. He has one chance to prove himself to the theatrical community: a rehearsed reading of his musical play, The Sorrows of Satan. When his patron, the prodigal Prince Lucio Rimânez, suggests some significant changes, Geoffrey must decide whether to hold on to his artistic integrity (for what it’s worth) or sell out for the promise of fame, money and the love of his leading lady.

The Sorrows of Satan is written by Luke Bateman (Mr Popper’s Penguins) and Michael Conley and directed by Kevin Spacey Artist of Choice Award winner Adam Lenson (Songs for a New World, St. James Theatre). Casting and further creative details are to be announced.

Tristan Bates Theatre producer Matthew Keeler says: “I’m delighted and privileged to have the brilliant musical theatre writers Luke Bateman and Michael Conley at the theatre next year teaming up with one of the most exciting directors, Adam Lenson. I loved Adam’s exhilarating take on Songs for a New World at St. James Theatre last year and am thrilled he is coming to direct this brand new musical play with us. The Sorrows of Satan, which plays for six weeks, and is produced by Fisher Taylor-Gaunt Productions, marks one of our new aims to host visiting companies for longer runs here – something I look forward to talking more about later in the year.’”

Creative bios

Luke Bateman is a composer, pianist and performer. He recently wrote the acclaimed Mr Popper’s Penguins (Lowry, UK Tour and The New Victory, New York – and forthcoming run at the Criterion, West End) with Richy Hughes. Original music for plays include Reel Life (Ustinov, Bath and St. James Theatre), Dark Tourism (Park Theatre), The Autumn Garden, On Approval, St Johns Night, Mother Adam, All I Want for Christmas (all Jermyn Street Theatre), Bachelor Boys, and Lord Byrons Mistress (both winners of MMD Sounds of England Award – written with Katy Darby). He was a company member and Assistant MD for A Chorus of Disapproval directed by Trevor Nunn (Harold Pinter Theatre, West End). Luke is the winner of 3 Iris Theatre Song awards (with Mary Evans): My Sexual (2012) Xmas Swapping (2013) and The Christmas Table (2014). These led to a commission by Iris Theatre to write a brand new musical H.R.Haitch. He is a founding member of the Book, Music, and Lyrics (BML) workshop. He is currently writing Personality based on the Andrew O’Hagan novel of the same name and The Little Beasts (What Happens to Naughty Children), written with Michael Conley, which is being developed by Perfect Pitch and will play at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace in 2017.

Michael Conley is a lyricist and librettist. His credits include the English adaptation of Vidal & Salvia’s The Prince and the Pauper (nominated for five awards at the 2012 Midtown International Theatre Festival, New York including Outstanding Musical Production and Outstanding Music & Lyrics for a Full Production) and Matches which was presented as part of The New York Theatre Barn’s 2016 New Works Series. While living in New York, he hosted a weekly revue of stand-up and musical comedy (the critically acclaimed Gay and Lesbian Comedy Fest) at Don’t Tell Mama. In 2002, the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) nominated his song The Drinking Song (written with David Maiocco) for outstanding special material. Michael also contributed opening numbers to two MAC-award winning shows, The Poole Party and The Next Big Broadway Musical. He wrote and starred in Hello, Boys! a musical revue of songs he wrote with Matthew Loren Cohen. For this show he was nominated for another MAC award and received the Cabaret Hotline award for Musical Theatre Performer. In London he is an active member of Mercury Musical Development (MMD) and been a part of Chris Grady’s A Month of Sundays and A Month of Sundays Plus. He is a founding (and board) member of the Book, Music and Lyrics writing programme and participates in MMD’s Writing Lab. His current projects in development include The Little Beasts (What Happens to Naughty Children), written with Luke Bateman, which is being developed by Perfect Pitch and will play Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace in 2017 and The Superhero, a one-man musical will be produced in 2017. Other projects include Personality, written with Luke Bateman – based on the novel by Andrew O’Hagan.

Director Adam Lenson’s credits include the twentieth anniversary production of Songs For A New World (St James Theatre), Disgraced (English Theatre Frankfurt), Dark Tourism (Park Theatre), Ghost: The Musical (GSA), See What I Wanna See (Jermyn Street Theatre), Reel Life (Ustinov, Bath and St. James Studio), The Goodbye Girl (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), West End Recast (Duke of York’s Theatre, Phoenix Theatre), Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios), Little Fish and Saturn Returns (Finborough Theatre), Come Fly With Me (Salisbury Playhouse), The Dead Guy (English Theatre Frankfurt) and The Family (Old Vic US/UK Exchange, Public Theater, NY). Associate and assistant directing includes work with Terry Johnson, John Doyle, Victoria Wood, Stephen Daldry, Nancy Meckler, Roxana Silbert, Maria Friedman, David Grindley and Lindsay Posner at venues including Hampstead Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End. In 2016, he was the recipient of a Kevin Spacey Artist of Choice Award for which he is currently developing Wasted, a new rock musical based on the Brontës which had a workshop production at West Yorkshire Playhouse in October. Adam produces and hosts the podcast Dischord (@DishordTheatre) that debates and discusses new musical theatre. You can find it on iTunes ( Future directing includes Whisper House by Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow (The Other Palace / St James Theatre).


The Sorrows of Satan was written in 1895 by Marie Corelli. It is regarded as one of the world’s first modern bestsellers and, despite dividing critics upon its release, was influential in establishing major trends in twentieth-century bestselling fiction and was one of Oscar Wilde’s favourite novels. It was turned into a silent film by the pioneering American film director D.W. Griffith in 1926.

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Press Releases on Twitter
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MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

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