Award-winning Musical Theatre Makers across the UK join forces for new online “Marathon” Project
In 1904, the Olympic Marathon was a shambles. Running through lawless chaos, participants sweated towards an ever-receding finish line, desperately just putting one foot in front of the other. In 2020, the Olympic Marathon never happened. But the rest is pretty much bang on.
Critically acclaimed musical theatre
companies and artists including Burnt Lemon Theatre, Spitlip, Sheep Soup, The
Letter Room, and Maimuna Memon are collaborating remotely on a new digital
project: a musical ‘choose your own adventure’
Image: Alfie Jayden
Inspired by the 1904 Marathon - an infamous, surreal race beset by challenges, chaotic leadership and utterly unfathomable obstacles - they want to create a response to this year: the ‘marathon’ no-one chose to run
The Marathon Project will be a rallying cry against these desperate times, inviting musicians, theatre makers, artists from wherever they are to join a project that celebrates the ways we stick together, even as we’re apart.
First scratch material will be presented remotely at the Lowry’s Musical Rewrites, on the 10th Nov
The Marathon Project
During lockdown, 20 of the country’s most exciting new musical theatre creators have united - miserable, hopeful, and longing to do something that might help them and others - to collaborate for the first time in a completely unique and distanced way, and they’re asking the rest of the world to join them.
The Marathon Project will be a musical choose-your-own adventure, playable entirely online, which explores the chaos, hilarity, tragedy and ultimate triumph of refusing to give up, no matter what.
Now a few months into initial and
self-funded R&D, the Marathon Project is launching today to gather more
“runners” - more musicians, more makers, more remixers, coders, gamers- who
might want to join them. They’re launching an initial sign-up here https://www.
A first scratch performance of initial songs from the project is happening (in person or streamed live via stream.theatre) at The Lowry Theatre, Salford, on the 10th November.
Ultimately, the Marathon Project hopes to celebrate the best of humanity in the face of adversity - the community, the courage, the humour - whilst taking a critical look at what happens when the rulemakers are clearly just making it up as they go along. Oh, and it’ll be set to a banging soundtrack to boot.
The Marathon Project is created by:
SPITLIP, based in London and Manchester
You know them for: multi-award winning new musical Operation Mincemeat, listed in the Observer’s Top 10 Shows of 2019 and winners of the 2019 Stage Debut Award for Best Composer/Lyricist .
“We’re sick of not making stuff, we’re tired of waiting for someone else to give us permission, and now more than ever, we want to burst open what musicals are and who can make them. The blossoming musical theatre scene in the UK is exciting, passionate and inspiring, and goddammit, we’re not going down without a fight” - Natasha Hodgson, SpitLip.
Burnt Lemon Theatre - multi-award winning musical theatre company and Pleasance Associate Artists.
You know them for: Tokyo Rose has enjoyed sell-out runs at Edinburgh and New Diorama Theatre and has won New Diorama/Underbelly’s Untapped Award and Les Enfants Terribles Stepladder Award. The Half Moon Shania won Musical Theatre Review’s Best Musical Award.
“Collaboration has always been a huge part of the creative process at Burnt Lemon Theatre, but never has it felt so important. The road ahead is far from clear. But with the combined ambition, risk taking and pure joy that comes with this project, a new musical like no other is at the finish line.” - Cara Baldwin, Burnt Lemon Theatre
Sheep Soup - Associate Artists at the Leicester Curve born out of the BAFTA award winning Television Workshop in Nottingham
You know them for: 5* show Mrs Green: The Musical, which enjoyed sell-out runs at Edinburgh Fringe, Nottingham Playhouse and the Curve; nominated for Stiles & Drewe New Song Prize 2019. Invited to Toronto to work with Come From Away Producers at Sheridan College
“Collaborating with artists and bringing interesting people and their work together is right at the heart of what Sheep Soup has always set out to do. We are thrilled to be able to join up with companies we admire and others we didn’t know much about at all… and make something really different and creative in the process” Nic Harvey, Sheep Soup
The Letter Room - a national touring company from Newcastle, committed to original musical theatre with Actor-Musicians. With special guests Oseloka Obi and Kaz Costello.
You know them for: No Miracles Here, listed as one of The Guardians “10 Shows to See at the Fringe”
“The Letter Room are thrilled by this collaboration. Whilst theatres are still dark and there are so many unknowns in the Arts, it fills us with hope to think about how 20 independent artists can come together and try something new.” - Stan Hodgson, The Letter Room
Artists from the BAC’s beatbox collective - co-creators of and performers in smash hit beatbox musical Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster, listed in The Observer’s Top 10 Shows of 2018, and as seen on BBC 4.