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Musical direction in theatre: Interpreting, composing and singing the ‘real’ ‐ An interview with David Shrubsole

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David Shrubsole is best known for his extensive theatre work as composer, lyricist, arranger/ orchestrator and musical director. He studied music at Trinity College of Music and regularly composes for the National Theatre. Shrubsole talks to George Rodosthenous about his experiences in the theatre, musical direction as interpretation and how the musical director is the ‘heartbeat of the show’, giving examples from his practice. Composing for theatre is contextualized here, and analysed within the practicalities, opportunities and challenges of each genre. The interview finishes with Shrubsole’s creative contribution to the revolutionary London Road (2011) and includes a detailed account of the innovative process of learning a score backwards.
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Keywords: composition; direction; musical direction; musicals; orchestration; previews; rehearsals

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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