Clips previewing the rock musical Crime & Punishment, currently playing at The Scoop Theatre in London: I Want To Be Free, Angel & Me (with new additional lyrics), Love Crazy, It’s A Mystery, Come, We Are, and the new Willcox/Darlow song Who Let The Beast Out. See our C&P news for links to reviews and other info on the production.
The cast are: Alec Porter, Rachel Delooze, Zac Hamilton, Angela Laverick, Reuven Gershon, Jasmeen James, Steve Graney, Aran MacRae, Lizzie Frain, Phil Willmott.
Looking for something fun to do in London this week? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered – from pop-ups to sherry evenings, here’s how to spend your week in the capital:
Thursday: 7. For a Free Production: Open Air Theatre
Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, with songs by the legendary Toyah Willcox and her song-writing partner, Simon Darlow. London’s Free Open-Air Theatre Season offers 40,000 free tickets for great theatre within the heart of London. Running since 2003, this is still London’s only ‘free to all’ annual festival of theatre.
Nineties kids might remember Willcox as ‘Barmy Aunt Boomerang’ on CBBC, but she had a big career in the late ’70s and ’80s with hits like ‘It’s A Mystery’ and ‘I Want To Be Free’. All her old tunes make an appearance, with some new songs too. They’re fun, but tend to interrupt the rather arch, overwrought Russian melodrama and its philosophical inserts about moral superiority, rather than complementing or enlightening it.
The adaptation by Phil Willmott (who also directs and acts in the show) has its merits and although it’s a brisk 90 minutes it feels pacy rather than rushed. All the necessary beats, from heinous act through falling in love and eventual contrition, find their moment and there are some semi-decent bits of acting in there too.
Review | ‘Crime & Punishment’ at The Scoop amphitheatre in London
Dostoyevsky meets steam punk in this bold retelling of the literary classic.
Setting a theatrical performance of Dostoyevsky’s brooding novel Crime and Punishment in a world of steam punk is a brave choice; accompanying it with a soundtrack made up of Toyah Willcox’s classic rock anthems is even braver. The production team at Gods and Monsters Theatre Company have not only attempted this, they’ve pulled it off with all the brazen authority of an axe-wielding Raskolnikov.
The classic Russian tale opens the new season at The Scoop in London, a 1,000-person sunken amphitheatre, and follows Raskolnikov as he justifies the brutal murder of a pawn broker with his belief that it was for the greater good of mankind, that by using the money he steals for good causes he has the right to go above and beyond the law. Directed by Phil Willmott, songs like ‘Love Crazy’ and ‘Who Let the Beast Out’ are intermingled with the tale, fitting surprisingly well with the heavy story and lifting it into a lighter tone that can be enjoyed more readily by all.
Crime and Punishment review at the Scoop, London – ‘Dostoyevsky gets the steam-punk treatment’
Gods and Monsters Theatre has been creating exciting open-air theatre at the Scoop for the last 14 years. Unlike the cosy, enclave of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, the venue is subject to the surrounding bustle of life on the Thames embankment and director Phil Willmott’s production employs the broad strokes necessary to attract and engage with an outdoor audience.
This year Dostoyevsky gets the steam-punk treatment. Willmott has tuned Crime and Punishment into a musical with the help of songwriter and composers Toyah Willcox and Simon Darlow.
The revolutionary undercurrent of nineteenth century St Petersburg seems an appropriate match for Willcox and Darlow’s soft punk score and a couple of crowd-pleasing hits including I Want to be Free and It’s a Mystery sit comfortably in Willmott’s accessible adaptation.
Phil Willmott has managed to cut Dostoyevsky’s novel down to a ninety-minute musical. Concentrating on protagonist Rodiom Raskalnikov, he has carved out storyline that presents the main plot clearly and uses Toyah Willcox’s songs (mainly old ones, some specially written) not as decoration but integrated so that they contribute to the storytelling.
Philip Eddoll’s steampunk set, all cogwheels and smoking chimneys, has already been used for The Wawel Dragon (the evening’s earlier offering for a younger audience). Now onion domes are added to make it more Russian but, though the location remains St Petersburg, with the black-goggled cast slowly crawling all over it as the audience assembles, this surreal place could be any- and everywhere.
Toyah’s “We Are” opens the show with an eruption of confidence from the gathering of students: “we are the young ones, we are the chosen ones, we are the only ones!” before Raskolnikov (Alec Porter) declares that he is penniless and must give up his studies.
• Love London Love Culture: Review: Crime & Punishment – The Rock Musical, The Scoop: This being said there can be no complaints at the music and the songs. From the rousing “We Are” to the more poignant and touching “Legacy”, each song captures the emotions of the story and help the audience to understand the character’s state of mind perfectly. There is an edginess to them that fits in with the aggression and sinisterness of the plot as in “Angels & Demons” – suggesting the conflicting sides to Raskolnikov and which part of him that he is going to follow – Continue reading…
• The Reviews Hub: Crime and Punishment – The Scoop, London: The plundering of Toyah Willcox’s back catalogue of songs also provides some juxtapositions that can’t help but raise a smile, most notably Willmott’s delivery of It’s a Mystery as he begins his investigation into the murder. Throughout, the use of Willcox’s music – most of which is by Willcox and Darlow, with additional contributions from Joel Bogen and Keith Hale – provides a pleasingly uniform and rich rock sound – Continue reading…
Crime and Punishment: A Rock Musical – The Scoop, London
Dostoyevsky is turned into a musical featuring specially written songs and favourite tracks by Toyah Willcox and her songwriting partner Simon Darlow, opening a free season at London’s Scoop that runs to September 25.
The much anticipated Crime and Punishment: A Rock Opera – as it’s now being called on Twitter – opened last night at The Scoop Theatre, London. Toyah was in attendance to support the premiere performance and hear THIRTEEN of her songs as they’ve never been heard before, and TWO of those, new Willcox/Darlow compositions, had never ever been heard before. Crime and Punishment continues tonight and every Wednesday through to Sunday until 25th September.
Getting The Scoop on London’s Free Open Air Theatre Season
Director Phil Willmott talks to Matthew Amer about bringing free theatre to City Hall.
Growing up, theatre director Phil Willmott was enthralled and inspired by pocket money-priced trips to the theatre. Now he hopes to inspire Londoners with shows that are entirely free.
“I didn’t know anything about theatre or plays,” Willmott says of his early exposure to the excitement of live theatre at Bristol Old Vic. “I would sit in the dark and this extraordinary story would happen in front of me. It was just the most brilliant education in literature and humanity. The stories I saw taught me so much about the world and different cultures. I always want to capture that for other people, to give them theatre that is that exciting.”
That is exactly what the director has been doing since 2003 at The Scoop with London’s Free Open Air Theatre Season. Each year he stages a classic text and a children’s production, and the audience can watch without having to open their wallets.
“Because we’re free,” Willmott continues, “people from all walks of life will come along, take a chance and sit down. An hour and a half later they’ve watched our play and want to talk about it. The really exciting thing about The Scoop’s audience is most of them have never dreamed of going to the theatre.”
For over a decade, the core artists of Gods & Monsters Theatre have created work inspired by the diverse cultures of those around them, sharing their perspective on the great stories of the world to an audience of over 40,000 each summer.
For 2016 Gods & Monsters Theatre return to The Scoop with a season dedicated to two cornerstones of Russian culture: the 19th century masterpiece Crime & Punishment by Dostoyevsky and the beautiful folktales of Russia, Poland and Ukraine.
Presented by Gods & Monsters Theatre | 31 August – 25 September 2016 | Directed by Phil Willmott | 8pm: Crime & Punishment
As the skies darken over The Scoop so does our story. For our fourteenth season we offer a brand new rock musical based on Dostoyevsky’s classic tale of youth and alienation. Arguably literature’s first psychological detective novel, Crime & Punishment put Dostoyevsky at the forefront of Russian literature when it appeared in 1866 and is one of the most famous and influential novels in world literature. In keeping with the spirit of the novel our production will incorporate a rock score that powerfully captures the youthful energy, angst, beauty and violence at its heart.
‘Crime And Punishment: A Rock Musical’: Dostoyevsky Meets Punk Princess Toyah Willcox
What do you get when you mix the music of 80s punk princess Toyah Willcox with the writing of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky? Crime and Punishment: A Rock Musical, of course. As part of London’s Open Air Theatre Season, The Scoop amphitheatre will be hosting the world premiere of this unlikely production, using the raw energy and passion of rock music to introduce new audiences to one of the world’s most important literary works.
Since 2005, the award-winning Gods and Monsters Theatre, The Scoop’s resident company, have been bringing together Londoners of all class and creed with an exciting programme of free, open air theatre as part of More London’s five-month-long London Bridge City Summer Festival. Each year, 40,000 free tickets are up for grabs in the sunken stone amphitheatre, which lies in the shadow of City Hall and Tower Bridge, with productions ranging from exciting musicals to Greek classics to adaptations of contemporary literature.
• Continue reading at The Culture Trip. Crime and Punishment begins on Wednesday at The Scoop Theatre, London at 8pm. The set has been built and technical rehearsals have begun. Browse all of Dreamscape’s news on the production here.
Dig out the kagoul; London’s open-air theatre is worth risking the rain for
Read our round-up of open-air theatre events for the summer ahead. You’ll find London’s best outdoor productions at venues as world-famous as Shakespeare’s Globe, in parks as pretty as Regent’s Park or at festivals as vibrant as More London Free Festival. Not sure what you’ll need for an open-air theatre trip? Then don’t miss our guide to all the practical open-air theatre info you could need.
Crime and Punishment – A Rock Musical: Toyah Willcox adapts Dostoyevsky’s classic in a free outdoor musical
Er. Well look, if a musical version of Dostoyevsky’s 1866 masterpiece about a student who wrestles with his guilt after killing a moneylender – with songs by Toyah Willcox no less – were announced for the West End we’d probably break out into cold sweats pretty sharpish.
The first run through of Crime and Punishment took place last night, with Toyah tweeting how pleased she was with it. Meet the cast of the new musical, featuring classic and new Toyah music, which opens a week tomorrow (31st August) at The Scoop Theatre, London.