Ginger Hibiscus | News from Ginger Hibiscus - World Premiere of New Musical Feelgood Academy
News from Ginger Hibiscus - World Premiere of New Musical Feelgood Academy
News from Ginger Hibiscus - World Premiere of New Musical Feelgood Academy
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12 Sep LOOK AHEAD: World Premiere of New Musical Feelgood Academy

Feelgood Academy The Musical (UK) Ltd presents the world premiere of a new musical Feelgood Academy

Words and Music by Penny Lane and Glenn Keiles
Book by Steve Jones
Director and Choreographer Owen Smith
Musical Director Fiz Shapur
Costume Designer Linda Martin
Sound Design Chris Full

The curtain is about to rise on the world premiere performances of Feelgood Academy, a new British musical that vibrantly mashes up the classic show-style of Gothic Opera with a thoroughly modern West End vibe.

At the Feelgood Academy of Performing Arts – a demanding drama school where the students are grafters…but also a tad naive (they think Gene Kelly is a woman) – two ambitious students put their friendship on the line in pursuit of a coveted role. Lucy is a self-assured singer and dancer who fancies herself a trouper (she’s been in one West End show) and arrogantly considers herself a cut above her fellow wannabe hoofers. On the other hand, Amanda is good-hearted, sweet-natured girl…but riddled with self-doubt and plagued by dark voices who have taken root in her fevered mind. She’s also cowed by her overbearing mother…who just happens to run the theatre school. Felicity Feelgood is a bullish martinet whose authority is often undermined by her weakness for malapropisms, yet still oversees her pupils – and particularly daughter Amanda – with an acid tongue whetted on a rod of iron. As the final terms starts, Lucy, Amanda and their fellow aspiring students are about to enter a competition for a place in a popular reality TV show, the prize being the starring role in the huge Gothic West End musical Motharotti. Unfortunately, the final decision is being made by the famously supercilious West End producer Bella Derrydown-Webb, a legendary theatrical impresario who has history with Felicity…plus a good memory. Just to crank up the tension, it’s revealed that the Academy is in dire financial straits…and the highly-desired part in Motharotti could raise its profile…and save it from bankruptcy. Everything is riding on the two star pupils. Will Lucy’s cavalier attitude to her craft cost her a chance of stardom? Can Amanda overcome her crippling lack of confidence and show what she’s capable of?

Feelgood Academy, with words and music by Penny Lane and Glenn Keiles and book by Steve Jones, directed and choreographed by Owen Smith, will premiere with three performances at Stratford Circus on Friday September 12 and Saturday September 13 at Stratford Circus, London E15.

The cast features Ashley Knight (who played Louis Walsh in I Can’t Sing at the London Palladium), Heather Jackson (Madame Giry in The Phantom of the Opera), Jodi Steele (Carmen in the 25th anniversary UK tour of Fame) and introducing newcomer Faye Ellen.

Feelgood Academy

Penny Lane – Words and Music, and original concept
As originator of the initial idea behind Feelgood Academy, Penny Lane is an accomplished singer/songwriter with many years’ experience in the music industry. Penny started her professional career straight from school singing on live radio shows with Tony Evans and various bands. Securing a five year contract with CBS Records, she also went on to sign up for a year as the first daytime host with Terry Wogan on Lunchtime with Wogan. Penny’s TV credits also include over 50 appearances on various TV shows and BBC specials that helped to establish her as a well known TV personality. She has worked with many famous names including Cliff Richard, Johnny Mathis and Tony Bennett and has sung on stage in front of audiences at major venues throughout the world and on cruise ships where she hosted her own show.Her tremendously popular stage show The Talk of London led to a very successful season at The London Palladium and she has sung in front of HM the Queen at numerous Royal gala performances. Penny developed her career to combine her excellent singing voice with her talent as a songwriter and co-wrote with well know stars including Billy Ocean. Several of her songs have been recorded by major artists such as Gloria Gaynor and The Three Degrees. She also signed and performed the first recording of I Dreamed a Dream from musical stage sensation Les Misérables under the name Patricia Lane. More recently, Penny has successfully established herself as a singing coach, and her students have gone on to lead roles in West End musicals that include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Les Misérables, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and Billy Elliot.

Glenn Keiles – Composer
Glenn is an award-winning and versatile composer, songwriter and producer whose considerable portfolio includes music for over 400 TV programmes, and song-writing/music production for numerous artists. His TV work has been nominated for an Emmy and two BAFTA’s, and he has won a Promax World Gold award in the category of Best Original Music. Glenn’s music has been used in many TV series including CSI, Martha Stuart’s Living, America’s Next Top Model and Good Morning America. Glenn’s work has included music for successful children’s TV dramas such as Jinx! (BBC1), My Spy Family (Cartoon Network), and numerous programmes for BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, National Geographic and many other international networks.

Born into a jazz-loving family in South Africa, Glenn was immersed in a broad range of music from an early age. At 17 he began life as a professional musician on tour with a successful pop group. These influences, together with his passion for ethnic music from around the world, have given Glenn an extensive knowledge of past and contemporary music, and the facility to compose in a diverse range of styles. Alongside his work for TV, Glenn is an increasingly busy music producer and songwriter. He has worked with legendary pop producer Ian Levine, and has produced tracks for Andy Duerden, Tuan Mac and Inju5tice.

Steve Jones – Book
Fascinated by cinema and storytelling, Steve completed his first screenplay in the early 1990s. Prior to writing Feelgood Academy, Steve collaborated with another musician and wrote the book for Fast Food The Musical,which tells a darkly comical version of the invention of the fast food industry in the USA. Today, Steve is preparing his third short film as Writer and Director and is working on the book for his next stage musical. He is also a marketing professional working predominantly on-line, helping companies promote their products and services.

Owen Smith – Director
Owen Smith’s recent work includes directing An Evening of Dance and Music with Anton Dubeke and Erin Boag. He was Choreographer and Director for Cruising Musicals Consortium, providing entertainment for the Aurora and Oriana cruise ships, and for four summers at the Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Mann. Owen’s other professional work includes tours of All That Jazz and With Love From and award winning fringe productions of South Pacific, Anything Goes and Oklahoma!