Q5: Carla Lane did a lot for good causes and wrote a lot about at times taboo subjects, extra marital affairs, animal rights etc. How do you feel her work, and of course your writing, touches people now who suffer from depression?
Carla was all about making life better in everything she did and how small acts of kindness can make a big difference. Her writing squared up to life not being what we want it to be from time to time but knowing that there is someone there to support you with a small act of kindness can make all the difference. All of Carla’s work is about understanding, embracing and celebrating differences and the universal positive effect of the hand of friendship has on everybody.
It is estimated that 350 million people worldwide will be affected by depression at some point in their lives and yet it is still largely treated as an elephant in the room. Anyone finding hope and strength from the positive messages in all of Carla’s work or indeed Liver Birds Flying Home can only be a good thing in the battle against depression.
Q6: What future writing plans do you have? Would you work on similar projects with other classic shows, if so which ones do you think would transfer to the stage?
Though I have been a freelance writer for many years this is the first time I have been involved in writing a script and it has been an incredible experience. If I’m fortunate enough to get further opportunities I fully intend to grab them with both hands and not let go! The temptation here is for me to name my own favourite classic shows as a wish list which I’m trying to resist! Even though some have appeared on stage before I think if they were well scripted, cast and presented the likes of Up Pompeii!, The Avengers and I, Claudius would make fantastic stage shows.
Q7: Liver Birds Flying Home is on at the Liverpool Royal Court until 12th May how has the reviews went and is there plans to take it on tour and let it fly?
We have had fantastic reviews in the regional and national press which is wonderful but the way audiences have responded to it is the most important thing of all. To see the audience applaud, cheer and stand for our amazing cast and band at the end of every performance is truly special and the best review we could ever have hoped for.
Our ambition is to tour so stay tuned for an announcement!
LIVER BIRDS FLYING HOME is a brand-new musical featuringBeryl & Sandra, the loveable, iconic characters created by Carla Lane and Myra Taylorfrom the classic TV series The Liver Birds.
The musical, set in Liverpool, features lyrics by Barb Jungr, music by Mike Lindup and book by Barb Jungr, George Seaton and Linda McDermott. Produced byLiverpool’s Royal Court, OlivierAwardwinning WestEnd producerJamesSeabright andGeorgeSeatonand directed by Benji Sperring,.
The musical opens at Liverpool’s RoyalCourt for a limited engagement from Friday April 13th to Saturday May 12th.
And we at KGHH are hoping it goes on a national tour.
We got the chanch to catch up George Seaton the co-writer and co-producer of Liver Birds Flying Home.
George Seaton: "I was lucky enough to make Carla’s acquaintance some years ago and I contacted her directly with the idea. I knew she had turned down other approaches to bring The Liver Birds back in one form or another in the past so we were thrilled when she said yes."
Barb Jungr, lyricist and co-writer “Women’s lives, their hopes and dreams and the innocence of their young selves. That’s all of us, isn’t it?
Q1: The Liver Birds, the TV show was a massive hit in the 1970’s set in Liverpool with friendship at its heart, what is at the heart of Liver Birds Flying Home, and how would you compare it to the TV show?
True to the TV series, friendship, love and the hopes we all have for ourselves is at the centre of Liver Birds Flying Home. Without exception everyone involved wanted to honour the original characters and writing style. There is nothing post modern or mocking in the script and hopefully fans of The Liver Birds will see their beloved characters in the present day and know that it is a continuation of their story.
Q2: The original show was written by the fabulous sadly late lamented, Carla Lane, what inspired the musical and how did you go about getting permission from her estate?
My dear friend Barb Jungr and I were walking through Liverpool discussing potential future projects. The world famous Liver Building was in view from where we were and glancing at the two Liver Birds that both protect and welcome people to the city on top the building Barb said ‘has anyone ever done Liver Birds –The Musical?’ I replied ‘not that I know of, why don’t you?’ and that’s how it started, a chance remark.
I was lucky enough to make Carla’s acquaintance some years ago and I contacted her directly with the idea. I knew she had turned down other approaches to bring The Liver Birds back in one form or another in the past so we were thrilled when she said yes.
Q3: Liver Birds Flying Home is a musical with some twenty plus songs by Barb Jungr (lyrics) & Mike Lindup (music). What came first the music or the story and how did you manage to interweave the two?
There was never any question of it not being a musical but the story outline came first. From that we developed a detailed scene by scene breakdown covering the story arc and the journey we wanted the characters to take. This gave us a ‘bible’ to work from and the music, songs and script were developed in tandem from there on in so one would compliment the other.
We were adamant from the start that the music and songs would be part of the fabric of the story and not bolted on in any way. Thanks to the genius of Barb as a lyricist and Mike as a composer each song either moves the plot along or tells the audience something about the character and their emotions often replacing spoken dialogue.
Q4: What do you think Carla would ave thought of Liver Birds Flying Home?
Carla really like the story outline we pitched and personally gave us permission to develop it into a musical. Sadly Carla passed away before it reached the stage but she was never anything less than completely enthusiastic from the off. Since then Carl and Nigel, her sons, have been wonderfully supportive and have very touchingly said that Carla would have been very proud.
Still by Geraint Lewis.
Big thank you for your time George Seaton and all your help. We sincerly hope Liver Birds Flying Home - flies long and high. Graeme Parker