Yesterday: a musical in three halves

Yesterday: a musical in three halves, by Katie Hale & Stephen Hyde

Three women. Three timelines. All connected by one man.

“a truly stupendous achievement … one of the most stunning bits of new writing this year.”
– Cherwell [preview]

“the score and libretto are both excellent and unparalleled amongst student writing”
“exhilarating … the atmosphere was electric”
“the best production of any musical that I have seen produced by students”
– The Oxford Culture Review [review]

“there’s talent in the writing and music: just take a listen to ‘Here in this room’ which I hummed cheerfully as I cycled home”
– The Oxford Student [review]

Yesterday was written in collaboration with composer Stephen Hyde. The show premiered in Oxford in June 2015, at the Burton Taylor Studio (Oxford Playhouse). The performance was produced by Off The Page Productions, and featured live music and an all-female cast.

You can watch the trailer for the production here:

About the show:

'Yesterday' by Katie Hale and Stephen Hyde at the Burton Taylor Studio, Oxford, June 2015Three women. Three timelines. All connected by one man.

From the mother who smothers her son with love, to his deceived wife searching for hope in their marriage, to the teenage girl in whom he finds solace, Yesterday offers us a glimpse into the lives of three generations trying to anchor themselves to a relationship in the ever-moving ebb and flow of London.

Julia is Alex’s mother, a possessive and neurotic woman constantly driven by her obsessive desire for a son and a desperate need to be the centre of his universe, as he is of hers.

Sally is a reserved and well-grounded woman. Visiting from the States, she finds her world turned upside down when she falls for Alex in a smoky Soho bar, choosing to invest in a man uninitiated to the demands of a relationship.

Anna is a girl in her late teens, who meets Alex years later as his marriage has started to hit the rocks and directly after he has hit his wife. Recently moved to London, she is kind and impulsive, and quickly falls for this sad and intriguing stranger.

These three storylines play out alongside each other throughout the show, culminating in one final and fateful point in time. Underpinning these separate narratives is the incessant patter of the drums, a means to both determine time and space and mimic the monotonous rhythm of the city in which these three characters find themselves trapped. Will their all-consuming relationships with Alex survive the strains and claustrophobia of urban life or will the right choices be made all too late?

What next?

The piece is currently in development, building on what we learned about it from the Oxford run, with a view towards future performances. For updates, please check my news section.

Images from the show:

Original cast:

  • Julia, the mother – Georgia Figgis
  • Sally, the wife – Joanna Connolly
  • Anna, the girl – Jemimah Taylor

Band:

  • The Pianist – Peter Shepherd / Alex Ho
  • The Drummer – Ben Varnam
  • The Cellist – Ellie Winter

Crew:

  • Director – Stephen Hyde
  • Producer – Tom Herring
  • Set Designer – Abby Clarke
  • Marketing Manager – Saskia Mair
  • Production Manager – Amelia Brown
  • Lighting Desinger – Jennifer Hurd
  • Graphic Designer – India Hill

Creatives:

  • Lyricist – Katie Hale
  • Composer – Stephen Hyde
Yesterday: a new musical by Stephen Hyde and Katie Hale. First performed at the Burton Taylor Studio, Oxford, June 2015
~ filming for the trailer: photo by Jemimah Taylor ~