‘It was the loveliest afternoon; amazing to see everybody again and to sing those songs – and how quickly they sent me back to being fourteen, standing on stage at the Edinburgh Fringe.’
Just one of many reactions to an evening of John Moore Musicals that was held last month at Westminster School. Former thesps and friends of all ages gathered to pay tribute to John Moore’s twenty-five years of composition and performance. Nine brand new musicals – and counting; fifteen new productions, seven of which have appeared on London stages.
Shrewsbury School has been a presence on the Edinburgh Fringe for twenty-five years and there was a representative of every one of John’s shows at an evening that recreated numbers from Jekyll! (1995) to the Drowned Bride (2018).
‘It is all remembered with such affection. I regularly go back to Edinburgh with work but it is impossible to capture quite the tremendous excitement of those first visits with Shrewsbury,’ writes another performer
Old troopers all, whether boys or girls from Shrewsbury, Moreton Hall and the High School, several are now high-fliers in the City or the Law and some in the theatre or the music industry; but everyone had bottled up a special memory of what it was like to step out on the stage of the Edinburgh Fringe in Frankenstein, the Lost Domain, the Bubble or What You Will. And every one of those performers melded together seamlessly, through ages ranging from thirty-eight to pupils of seventeen.
‘I have always known this but last night clarified that it is thanks to Alex, John and Peter that I am doing what I am doing today,’ - writes one West End director.
A current Head of Music adds: ‘I cannot tell you how much being in those shows meant to me - being part of something so professional… Working alongside talented older stars at that time, with a wonderful band and inspirational teachers who strove for the highest possible standards was amazing.’
The evening featured a range of music from edgy Kurt Weill numbers to the soaring romance of the love songs that still tug the heart strings. The range and variety of Moore’s theatre music must be unsurpassed in any school throughout the land.
But above all, this was an evening of joyous reunion – men and women, with a love of music and of theatre, united by the fondest memories.