FAWKES the Quiet Guy: Production notes


If you have the backing tracks on CD, the sound effects will be found after the music, from track 27 onwards.

The effects are as listed in the back of the French's published books, although with the first edition, one of the shots was missed out. The full list of effects runs as follows:

Author's Questions and Answers

You are welcome to use any, all or none of this for programme notes or other publicity purposes.

FAWKES - The Quiet Guy

Why did I write it?
Within months of HENRY THE TUDOR DUDE being published in 1995, productions were occuring both here and on the other side of the world. Obviously a combination of vivid history, gruesome facts and lively music arranged for a large cast was a winner, and I love seeing the varied and imaginative ways different companies have produced it. The challenge was to follow it, and the gunpowder plot seemed an ideal vehicle.

How long did it take to write?
Between May and October 1996 I did three quarters of the text but then I got stuck as to how I should relate and reveal the end of the story. I ran away from the word computer to the music computer and got on with writing and recording the songs that I had planned from the outset. In Febuary 1997 I suddenly got unstuck, and by May 1997 I had a draft ready to show people, along with a reasonable demo tape of the numbers. To my joy ( and amazement), Samuel French's immediately offered a publishing contract, and so very little was changed after that.

Was it easy?
No! I had no idea the story was so complicated when I started out. Getting all the facts correct was miserable enough, and then working out how to present them on stage was a nightmare. Of course, looking back it all seems so obvious now!

Why is Fawkes set in a night club?
Sadly history does not provide many good roles for women, so a troupe of sassy nightclub hostesses seemed like a good idea, it's also a good excuse for a style of music I like. These extra characters also act as "detectives", who unravel what was really happening on behalf of the audience.

Do the songs take long to write?
That's a bit hard to say. I've written a lot of tunes for one-off productions in the past, and amongst the forgettable rubbish, occasionally I feel one deserves a better airing. Both FAWKES and HENRY use tried and tested material mixed in with new sections. Generally speaking though, a song takes three walks of the dog, two long baths, half a dozen outbursts at the piano, then a week buried in computers to arrange the parts, write extra words and record a demo.

What's next?
I've finished "Nell's Belles - the tale of the Swinging (16) Sixties" with plagues, fires, executed Kings, orange girls and bawdy galore - in other words it has all the essential ingredients for good clean family entertainment!


Hints on using live Music or Backing Tracks

To Kjartan's C.V. (This includes details which you may use in programmes or other publicity.)

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