Songwriter and entrepreneur Mike Batt today announced the first signings in his forthcoming all-star line-up for the first ever full-length recording of his score to the West End Show ‘The Hunting Of The Snark’, based on the Lewis Carroll poem. Batt produced the show at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1991, starring Kenny Everett as the Billiard Marker, Philip Quast as the Bellman and John Partridge as the Butcher.
Quast (the only three-time winner of the Olivier Award for “Best Actor In A Musical”) played the Bellman in the original production, and Partridge (long-established East Enders star and recent winner of Celebrity Master Chef) played the Butcher. Now, 28 years later, they are revisiting their former roles, with Matt Lucas taking the part of the Billiard Marker, originally played by Kenny Everett.
Mike Batt said “This is such a great development. With Kenny Everett, my late buddy, so sadly missed I can think of no one I would prefer to play this part than Matt. I’m also delighted that “Snark originals” Philip Quast and John Partridge, having gone from strength to strength in their careers, were still willing to take a step into the past and help me re-create the old magic. It’s a great start to the casting process of what is a very ambitious project, particularly in today’s challenging music business environment.”
Matt Lucas said “I grew up listening to Mike’s music and I’m really excited to be working with him. I remember watching the concert version on TV and being enchanted by it, and I can’t wait to start learning the songs.’
Philip Quast said “I am thrilled to set sail with some of the old crew again – especially with Mike at the helm of this beautiful, whimsical, haunting piece of work”.
John Partridge said “This score is without doubt a masterpiece, and I am so looking forward to hearing it again after all this time. I was 19 when the voyage began, 28 years ago! Thanks to all those who will have helped to make it happen.”
The substantial funding for this recording is being raised through crowdfunding site Pledge Music. A not-insignificant production, the recording will involve many days of recording with full orchestra, rock band and a cast of ten principal characters. Casting for the remaining characters is currently in progress.
Asked why he is undertaking this project Mike explains “I have always wanted to make a recording of the full score, in addition to the shorter concept album that exists already, because the full dramatic piece contains so much more material that has never been recorded or released, and as an entirety I consider it to be the centrepiece of my life’s work to date”