Blog November 28th ACTS Part One and Alex Knox

Alex Knox starring in the West End play “It’s Easy To Be Dead”

“So Now We Wait In Jerusalem” – “For God So Loved The World” – featuring Alex Knox and Lindsey Gardiner from the album “Risen! The Musical – recorded and produced by Joffy Girling

So tomorrow Joffy Girling, Mustard Seed Songs’ Musical Director and actor Alex Knox are at my house for two days recording the guide vocals to ACTS – The Musical.
So just to explain ACTS- The Musical is the sequel to Risen! The Musical. We have already recorded ACTS -Part One with Alex playing the part of Luke, Oscar Batterham, the part of Theophilus, with members of the London Touring Cast (who filmed Risen!The Musical) playing other parts together with long standing Mustard Seed artists such as Nicola Poustie and James Townend.
We are hoping to let people hear ACTS- Part One very soon but tomorrow and Saturday Alex and Joffy will be laying down the guide vocals for ACTS- Part Two which will then complete the whole musical. Our dream is to raise enough money to film ACTS- The Musical and make it available on YouTube as is, of course, Risen! The Musical.
Mustard Seed Songs are so fortunate to have the brilliant Joffy as our MD and to have Alex singing the guides is also wonderful. Both Alex and Joffy pick up the songs I sing to them (sooooo badly) really, really quickly – they are both so very talented (and also great people – Caroline, Genna and I have such fun when they come to stay)
Among many other acting credits Alex played lead in the West End production “It’s Easy to be Dead.” For those of you that have not yet heard me talk of Alex and how we met- here is some information taken from previous blogs.
When, at the age of nine I moved from Gillingham in Kent to Portsmouth I went to the Northern Parade Junior Boys School. I have to say I did not like it at all – the teachers used the cane- something that I had not come across at all in the delightful Forge Lane Mixed School I attended in Gillingham.
Anyway one classroom teacher, Mr Thorpe was keen on amateur dramatics and each year would produce a show, usually one which he had written himself based on a Gilbert and Sullivan classic. I particularly remember “The Pirates of Portsmouth” in which I played a pirate “Mizzen Mast Martin.” The star was a guy called Martin Connor who was in my class and who had been one of the few people who had been nice to me when I first went to Northern Parade.
In those ancient times we had to sit the 11 + exam to determine whether you went on to Grammar School or Secondary Modern. In Portsmouth there was also a “half -way house” – the Portsmouth Technical High School. Well to cut a long story short Martin and I found ourselves both at “The “halfway house”. We were also in the same form, the infamous 1B. Martin went on to become Head Boy – I did not.
I knew Martin had gone on from school to pursue a career in acting, but on leaving school I had lost contact with him. When I was looking to cast for the role of John I needed someone who could both act and sing. All of Risen! is sung and I particularly needed someone who was expert in recitative as this holds the storyline together. I decided to try to locate Martin to see if he was still in the world of acting so I googled his name and there he was Head of Acting at the Prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. I knew it was the same Martin as there was a pic of him on the Guildhall’s website and he had not changed a bit (spit!)
I emailed him and we met up at the “Coach and Horses” pub which is right opposite our old school. We talked and laughed non -stop for hours, picking up on all the old Tech School life as if it were yesterday. Anyway yes Martin did have someone in mind to play the part of John – Alex Knox. Alex has a degree in Music from Manchester University – he also has a Masters in Singing from Guildhall and was now taking the Guildhall’s Masters Acting Degree- he would be perfect. So I took the train up to London to meet him at the Guildhall. I sang Alex the John parts in one of the Guildhall’s studios, so I suppose it could be said that I have sung at the Guildhall School of Music and Theatre! For a classical trained singer it would not have been normal to learn a part warbled by some PE teacher, but that is what happened and Alex has now played John brilliantly in three consecutive Risen! productions and has also sung that part in the Risen! The Musical CD.
Next week I’ll tell you how the recording went.
Quote of the week
Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Reinhold Niebuhr