Interview with Brigid Larmour, director of I Capture the Castle
10 February 2017
I Capture the Castle is a hugely popular book. What gave you the idea of turning it into a musical?
It was actually the writer’s idea, Teresa Howard. She has always loved the book and had an instinct that it could make a magical piece of musical theatre. She got the composer, Steven Edis, on board, and they wrote a draft which she came to Watford and gave me. Once I read the script and heard the music I completely fell in love with it, and though I did not know how we could possibly afford it, we like to rise to a challenge here at the Palace, and we’ve managed to find some partners to help bring the show to the stage.
Why do you think people love the story so much?
It’s not like anything else you’ve ever read, but it deals with things everyone will recognise. It’s about the painful process of growing up. It is about love – first love, unrequited love, married love. And it’s very funny! There’s also something very eccentrically British about it, and I think we all love our eccentrics...
The show has a movement director rather than a choreographer. What does this mean?
It just means we’ll be bringing to the world of the musical the kind of physical storytelling you are used to seeing on our stage from our Creative Associate Shona Morris, in shows like Love Me Do, Coming Up, Sleeping Beauty and Jefferson's Garden. In some ways it is a bit like the classic American choreography of Oklahoma, or the dream sequences in films like An American in Paris, or KneeHigh. The show won’t be a conventional series of scenes interspersed by numbers, but it will have all the entertainment and magic that you’d expect from a musical.
The novel is set in the 1930s, will you be updating it?
Perish the thought! That period feel is part of the joy of the piece. And while the central family is short of money and very much has to ‘make do and mend’, there will also be some very gorgeous frocks...
Click here to find out more about I Capture the Castle