Latest Show News:
October 2013 - Following the success of the show in 2008, Lewes Operatic Society are again putting on a fully staged production of the show. Tickets now available for booking.
Extract from Lewes Operatic Website (September 2013):
In the October 2008 the Society was proud to be the first company ever to stage the new musical Remember! Remember! The show was a sell-out and sadly we had to turn people away.
We are now reviving this emotive Gunpowder Plot musical set in England in the early 1600s. The gut-wrenching tale follows Robert Catesby and his band of Catholic followers in their ill-fated plot to blow up the Protestant King James I and his Parliament in a bid to win back their religious freedom.
A must-see musical and a great opportunity to relive this historic event in Lewes, the home of Bonfire Night celebrations.
This production will be directed by Andy Freeman and Musically Directed by one of the shows writers, Jasper Kent.
October 2008 - After being approached by Lewes Operatic Society, it was decided that a fully staged production was a wise step to gauge the public’s reaction. This gave an opportunity to see how certain scenes would work with underscoring, costumes and designed lighting.
5 performances were staged from 1st - 4th October and every ticket was sold (including matinee) a week before the production.
Click to view production photos and videos.
3/10/08 - Sussex Express review for the Lewes production
Published Date: 03 October 2008
This week an historic event happened in Lewes and I was very privileged to witness it. Lewes Operatic Society staged the World Stage Premiere of a brand new musical, Remember Remember. It is very fitting Lewes, with its great Bonfire tradition, should have been granted this right. The show tells the story of the infamous Gunpowder Plot on 5th November 1605 and the events leading up to it.
It was a tangled web of intrigue and the strong prejudice against Catholics that led to this Plot which, had it succeeded, would have changed the whole of English history.
The Sussex writing team comprising Jasper Kent, Robert Piatt and Robert Starr have been working on this show for four years and the night I went they were there in the audience to see all their hard work come to fruition.
From the moment you walked into Lewes Town Hall there was a buzz of excitement and as soon as the show started you were riveted.
It was very cleverly staged, starting with a back projection of present day fireworks before the Ensemble paid tribute to Bonfire Night in Modern Day Lewes with the opening song Remember Remember.
Then it went back in time to the period between 1603 and 1606. Colin Reynolds lighting and back projections were crucial to the show and transported you to the various scenes starting with the Coronation of James I in Westminster Abbey and ending with the hanging of the conspirators in The Old Palace Yard, Westminster.
I can't single out any one person because everyone from the leading actors to the chorus were superb. This was no amateur production – it was one hundred per cent professional from the direction, choreography, costumes, acting and singing.
It reminded me of Les Miserables and I think if these talented writers can find a professional outlet for their show it will take the West End by storm. The tourists will love it because it is a real piece of English history.
The torture of Guy Fawkes was terrifying. This is not a feel-good musical. Like Les Miserables it is dark and very moving.
It was sold out for the entire run and it is a shame it cannot be seen by a wider audience with the same cast, director and backstage boys and girls.
1/10/08 - 4/10/08 - Remember! Remember! Full production by Lewes Operatic Society
16/09/08 - Rye and Battle Observer, article on forthcoming production
Published Date: 16 September 2008
THE world premiere of a new musical about the Gunpowder Plot takes place in Lewes. Remember! Remember! is a full-scale musical written by Brighton composers Jasper Kent, Robert Piatt and Robert Starr. It will have its first ever theatrical staging in Lewes.
Lewes Operatic Society has been given permission to perform the piece next month and is involving the town's bonfire societies in the project.
A full cast of almost 40 players will act out the dramatic story in period costume, accompanied by an eight piece band.
Hi-tech effects will suggest the locations, including video projections filmed with the help of Sussex Archaeological Society.
Andy Freeman, a former chairman of Cliffe Bonfire Society, will be directing the musical, which features more than 20 original songs. He said: 'The story of the Gunpowder Plot is widely known but not widely understood.
'We hope to shed some light on the motives of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators.'
'There is a lot of excitement about staging what is, in effect, a world premiere – and it's only right that it should take place in Lewes.'
Remember! Remember! is at Lewes Town Hall, October 1 to 4, 7.30pm, Saturday matinee, 2.30pm.
For tickets and further information, see www.lewesoperatic.co.uk or call 01273 480127.
16/09/08 - The Argus, article on forthcoming production
Business bosses plan memorable musical
11:08am Tuesday 16th September 2008
Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot.
So begins the famous old children’s rhyme which is the inspiration for a musical by three business bosses which will hit Sussex next month.
Remember! Remember! charts the conspiracy which aimed to blow up the king, his court and the government in 1605. Guy Fawkes was discovered in a basement room surrounded by barrels of gunpowder just before the state opening of Parliament.
The events inspired the November 5 bonfires which are celebrated with particular vigour in Lewes. Now the town is to play host to the world premiere of the musical, which was written seven years ago by three men from Brighton.
Robert Starr, 39, who runs insurance and mortgage company Seico, Jaspar Kent, 40, an IT consultant and Robert Piatt, 38, who runs First Night music studio, created the show.
Mr Starr said: “We couldn’t work out why the idea hadn’t been done before.
“It is the only traditional story that has never stopped being celebrated.”
The show focuses on the chief conspirator, the Catholic Robert “Robin” Catesby and his growing hatred for the religious repression of Protestant King James I.
It ends with the hanging, drawing and quartering of Catesby’s co-conspirators.
The music is described as in a similar style to Les Miserables and combines period instruments, such as the harpsichord, with modern ones such as the slide guitar.
The idea drew interest from Broadway producers when scenes were showcased. But after the September 11 attacks on New York, the plans were shelved because the musical’s theme of terrorist bombing was thought unlikely to attract an audience.
Interest was still high enough for the public to buy 5,000 copies of a CD of songs from the show which was released two years ago.
The team decided to bring the musical to the stage for the first time after approaches from as far away as New Zealand. They chose to work with Lewes Operatic Society because of the town’s fame for its November 5 processions. Mr Starr said: “We decided it should only be staged by one company the first time.
“It is fitting that the first showing of the first show should be in Lewes. We didn’t know how it was going to come across but they have really done an incredible job.”
The 37-strong cast includes 15 members of Lewes’ bonfire societies.
Director Andy Freeman, who spent 13 years as chairman of Cliffe Bonfire Society, said: “Everyone’s very excited about the show. The opportunity to develop it for the stage in collaboration with this very talented trio of writers is a unique experience, albeit occasionally unnerving when they sit in on rehearsals. Gilbert and Sullivan or Rodgers and Hammerstein have never done that to us.”
Remember! Remember! is being performed at Lewes Town Hall from Wednesday, October 1, to Saturday, October 4. Tickets cost between £8 and £10, £6.50 concessions, and must be booked in advance. For more information and booking visit lewesoperatic.co.uk or call 01273 480127.
15/07/07 - Co-writer Jasper Kent is offered a publishing deal for his first novel, Twelve.