Since meeting in Chichester in 2015, Greg Mosse and John Gleadall have been busy writing a string of musical shows, including jazz-swing cabaret Separate Ways, which they’re now staging at Theatro Technis from 21 to 24 August 2019 during Camden Fringe. Mosse told us about the key to their collaboration. Time to get booking!
Three friends fall in love in all the possible combinations of two from three – then go their Separate Ways.
London, 2019. Life is tough. Earning a living is REALLY tough. Emily, Beth and Freddie become friends – become lovers. The three of them are gigging and working, struggling to meet their bills. Emily’s training reaches a crisis. Beth’s life changes forever. Freddie feels stuck on the outside, looking in…
Separate Ways – with original music by John Gleadall and book and lyrics by Greg Mosse – will remind you of the great jazz-swing musicals of the 1950s, and will send you out of the theatre uplifted and singing. At Camden Fringe, it stars Arabella Rodrigo, Sam O’Hanlon and Michaela Bennison.
Talking to… John Gleadall
During a wide-ranging career, Greg Mosse has worked in fringe theatre and as a secondary school teacher, translator, interpreter, editor and lecturer. His other musical theatre collaborations with John Gleadall include Team!, Lady of Jazz, Poisoned Beds, Shakespeare’s Lost Women, The Highwayman, Cutlasses & Contraband and Daisy & Marvin Save the Day. His additional writing credits include The Odds of Being Earnest, Il Fut Un Temps, Wellington Boots, The Hawkhurst Gang, The Exchange, Who Cares, Self Help and Once Upon a Time.
How did you & John Gleadall start working together?
John and I were both working at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2015 when I was running playwriting workshops there and he was (and is) leader of the community choir. I brought him my Christmas show script and said: “If you like it, I want you to compose the score. If you don’t like it, we will never speak of it again!”
What’s your working process?
I write in the middle of the night. John gets up early. He can play more or less any instrument. I have ten thumbs. But we communicate quickly and easily with an incredibly wide range of musical and theatrical references. Breadth of knowledge makes everything easier – the examples are out there and we use them.
What was the initial inspiration for Separate Ways?
Jazz-swing is a lovely, friendly style so we wanted to write a story – full of drama and emotional hiccups – where everyone ended up friends. No longer lovers, but still friends.
Where have you previously staged Separate Ways?
We produced a showcase at the West End’s Criterion Theatre in 2016 – it is so valuable to get your work on a big stage – and then a run at Chichester.
Why did you want to revive the show at Camden Fringe?
We always thought Separate Ways would be a great festival show, but we got distracted by other projects for a few years. We’re thrilled to be in Camden Fringe now. Theatro Technis is a fantastic venue with an incredibly supportive and energetic management – we wanted to support both them and the amazing work of Camden Fringe.
Plus, two cast members of Separate Ways are working with us on other shows this summer – they are perfect in the roles – and it would have been crazy not to take advantage of the opportunity to keep them ‘in the family’.
Tell us more about your company.
Michaela Bennison is starring for us in Lady of Jazz this autumn in a tour that takes in Wilton’s Music Hall, Hope Mill Theatre Manchester and others. She’s fresh from playing Shakespeare’s Juliet. We are incredibly lucky that Arabella Rodrigo is able to fit us in between the dates for the glorious Burt Bacharach UK tour. I’ve known Sam O’Hanlon since he first performed with my son Felix Mosse ten years ago – he’s a wonderful actor-musician.
Do you have a favourite song in the piece?
John’s a genius with close harmony and I love the song “Who Pays”, all three voices arguing about where they’re going to eat out but then finally being obliged to acknowledge that they ‘have food at home’!
What are your future plans?
We are currently working on a new musical about “football, friendship and the passing of time” called TEAM! Once we’ve finished our development weeks – funded by an Arts Council England project grant, for which we are incredibly grateful – we will start planning 2020. I’m afraid 2019 is already full up…
As part of this year’s Camden Fringe festival, Separate Ways runs from 21 to 24 August 2019, with performances at 9pm, at Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 1TT. Tickets are priced £5-10. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Full festival programme
For details on all 300+ shows in the 2019 Camden Fringe programme, visit the festival websiteClick here