22 November 2005:
Black revealed to some of his and John Barry's fans at the "Thunderball
40th anniversary" screening that he and John Barry do want to revisit
Brighton Rock. Don agreed that it would be very sad if the Almeida
season was the beginning and the end of the show. He said that it
would need some rewriting and it was clear from what he said that
this hasn't happened yet.
He said that it should tour in the provinces first before any
attempt at at a further West End run
Don seemed genuinely surprised by the interest expressed in the
Cause for guarded optimism then, but don't expect anything in
the near future. [Thanks to Pete Greenhill for the information.]
You may wish to post your opinion of the show to
the John Barry Appreciation Society page on Facebook. All views welcome,
good, bad or indifferent!
07 January 2005:
No CD at present
Mr. Simon Meadon of Bill Kenwright Limited has said thank you for
all the e-mails, and that there are no plans at present to produce
an album but that he will be in touch if and when circumstances
Should they produce the show again either in the same or a revised
form the situation may change.
Please do NOT contact Bill Kenwright Limited anymore, as everyone's
interest has been noted.
Official production stills;
06/07/10/12 October: Online reviews:
04 October: Screen grabs of the BBC Breakfast TV interview,
October 4, attended by Don Black and John Barry.
Breakfast interview with John Barry and Don Black.
It started with an introduction for the viewers to show who JB
and DB are. Presenters mentioned James Bond and then what must possibly
be Graham Greene's most famous novel "Brighton Rock" and showed
what may be the most famous of composisitions JB and DB did together:
a clip of Shirley Bassey singing Diamonds Are Forever.
Back to the studio and John Barry was asked to tell what Brighton
Rock is all about. Although both gentlemen looked in excellent condition
- John growing his hair again - it was fairly obvious that JB didn't
really know what to say and Don got in between rather often. Talking
a lot faster, he gave the basic information about Brighton Rock
much more clearly than John did. Also mentioned that Michael Attenborough
must be the best director they could have ever had - having grown
up with Brighton Rock.
John told about Roy Boulting storming into Graham Greene's apartment
and had the argument with "Graham, no, Wolf Mankowitz". Barry got
it wrong at first, then impersonating and mimicking "f****** b*st*rd
live on BBC TV.
Don really saved the interview by being lucid and clear. We were
treated to a short videoclip of one of the songs, beautiful blue
lighting, Pinkie and Rose dancing, the same scene as the photo from
Metro that we now have on our website. And the song sounded very
John and Don were also asked if the musical was finished as far
as they were concerned and John said that there were changes and
that certainly the reactions from the audience are an indication.
Don Black got in between again - lightening things up after grumbling
and mumbling JB, by saying that there is a saying in "our business:
a musical is never finished, it just opens."
The presenters thanked Don Barry John, no John Barry and Don Black.
In all, it was a little confusing. And not at all clear where Brighton
Rock is being shown.
22 October: John Barry & Don Black on Brighton Rock on BBC
Radio 4, October 1, at 7.15 p.m. - "Front Row".
28 September: Article in Metro (received October 1)
We have the complete songlist. Some songs might disappear or be
replaced during the run:
- Razor Theme - instrumental
- They Didn't Have To Kill him - Pinkie
- You See If I Don't - Pinkie
- The Holiday Crowd - Ensemble
- You Never Know Where You Are With Pinkie
- Spicer, Dallow & Cubitt)
the above song has been cut
- Hello Sweetheart - Ida
- Lucky To Be Alive - Ida (background to scene - not featured)
- You And Me Have Things In Common - Pinkie
- Something Fishy - Ida
- Dance Hall - Instrumental
- I'll Never Let You Down - Rose
- Some Things Never Leave You - Pinkie
- Play Your Cards Right - Colleoni
- Marry Her I Have To - Pinkie
- The Favourite Doesn't Always Win - Ensemble and Pinkie
- Panic - Pinkie
- You Love Who You Love - Rose
- Don't Keep On - Ida & Phil
- You Can't Beat A Wedding - Judy, Dallow & Pinkie
- No One Laughed - Pinkie
- It'll Do - Rose
- Brighton Rock - Ida
- You And Me Reprise - Pinkie
- Brighton Rock Reprise - Ida
The Brighton Rock chaps.
Article from September 16, "Bleak tale with Bright future?",
Nick Smurthwaite on The
Stage website (link no longer works)
26 September: Third poster
10 September: Second poster
06 September: We have the poster
10 August: Already people are asking about
the chances of an original cast album, but I feel it's much too
early to speculate.
It would be rare for an album to be issued on the
back of a short run at a small theatre. Of course, a West End transfer
would make an album a near certainty.
We do know a total of 19 songs have been written
but not if they will all end up in the musical.
02 August: there was a meet & greet and read/sing
through today, August 2, and all went well. In attendance were the
full cast and director, Giles Havergal, Don Black and JB with his
I was informed that our book "A Life In Music" is on the "information"
table along with various other reference tomes and it turns out
that Mike Attenborough knows an awful lot about JB's film music.
Full cast list is as follows:
Pinkie Brown - Michael Jibson
Dallow - David Burt
Cubitt - Neil McCaul
Spicer - Paul Bentall
Judy - Corinna Powlesland
Rose - Sophia Ragavelas
Ida Arnold - Harriet Thorpe
Phil Corkery - Gary Milner
Fred Hale - Nick Lumley
Mr Colleoni - Joshua Richards
Crab - Anthony Clegg
Molly - Michelle Hooper
Delia - Elizabeth Price
Ensemble (Holidaymakers, shopkeepers, race goers, etc.)
Solicitor Prewitt is out.
22 July: John is about to leave for London.
Rehearsals for Brighton Rock begin next week so he'll be involved
in that. Hopefully I will get to speak to him at some stage.
13 July: "Attenborough Jnr tackles Brighton
Rock" article on IndieLondon.co.uk mentions more cast members: "Other cast members include Neil
McCaul (Cubitt), Corinna Powlesland (Judy), Paul Bentall (Spicer),
Joshua Richards (Mr Colleoni), Elizabeth Price (Delia) and Anthony
29 June: "25th June 2004 - 'What's
on Stage' News Almeida Picks Jibson for Brighton Rock’s Pinkie"
29 June: According to Friday's Daily Mail,
Michael Jibson has been chosen to play Pinkie, fresh from an 'Olivier
Award' nomination for his performance in the Madness musical, 'Our
House', while Rose will be played by Sophia Ragavelas, who has just
ended a run as Eponine in 'Les Miserables'
Michael Attenborough is quoted as saying, "It (Brighton
Rock) is a portrait of the inside of Pinkie's head and a musical
is the best medium to explore that."
29 June: Spanish
language article about Brighton Rock and that JB had to tell
Graham Greene that his lyrics were no good when they were first
working on Brighton Rock 35 years ago.
99 June: Interview with John Barry in The Daily
Telegraph, "Graham Greene off key when it came to lyrics By
Hugh Davies" (Filed: 07/06/2004), Monday 7 June issue), in
the news section on page 9 in the newspaper. Also available
on the Telegraph website. [BR page no longer exists] Log in, or register first.
20th September - 13th November 2004
The World Première of
Based on the novel by Graham Greene
Music by John Barry
Lyrics by Don Black and Book by Giles Havergal
Whitsun weekend, Brighton, 1937.
Three deaths, one marriage and a walk on the pier...
Based on the classic novel by Graham Greene, Brighton Rock is a musical drama set in gangland
Brighton, full of smoky pubs, seedy boarding houses and men carrying
razors, led by the notorious mobster "Pinkie".
Caught up in the violence of the weekend, the only incriminating
witness to a murder is Rose, a 16-year old Catholic girl with a
memory for faces and eyes only for Pinkie. A wedding would buy her
silence, although Pinkie doesn't believe in love and marriage.
But then again ... till death do us part?
Directed by Michael Attenborough
Designed by Lez Brotherston
Lighting by Tim Mitchell
Musical Direction and Orchestrations by Steven Edis
Choreography by Karen Bruce
Sound by John Leonard
Presented in association with Bill Kenwright
John Barry has written
music for over 100 films; his 11 James Bond scores include Goldfinger and Thunderball. He has won five Oscars; for Born Free(song & score), The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves. He has also written four
stage musicals including Billy,
written in collaboration with Don Black.
Don Black wrote
lyrics for Tell Me On A Sunday,
Bombay Dreams and book and lyrics for Sunset Boulevard (with Christopher Hampton).
His films include five James Bond films and Born Free, for which he won an Oscar. In addition
he has won a Golden Globe, two Tony Awards and five Ivor Novellos.
In 1999 he was awarded an OBE.
Giles Havergal was
for over 30 years Artistic Director if the celebrated Glasgow Citizens
Theatre. his adaptations include Summer
Lightning, David Copperfield,
Death in Venice and Graham Greene's
Travels with my Aunt.
24 May: London
Theatre Guide, The Almeida 2004/5 programme
21 May: The
British Theatre Guide: The Almeida... 2004/5 season programme.
16 May:A Brighton
Rock Study Guide, the novel, guide © Andrew Moore, 2000.
16 May: Brighton Rock being announced in
"Almeida Theatre's 2004-05 Season to Include Brighton Rock,
Russell Beale Macbeth."
- IndieLondon "Brighton Rock to head new Almeida season"
- the "What's On" section of officiallondontheatre.co.uk Official London Theatre Guide.
10 May: Hot off the press comes news of the Almeida
Theatre's new season, which opens with BRIGHTON ROCK (press
release from Almeida
MICHAEL ATTENBOROUGH to direct
World Première of GILES HAVERGAL'S dramatisation of
B R I G H T O N R
O C K
with music by
and lyrics by
Michael Attenborough will direct
the world première of Giles Havergal's dramatisation
of Graham Greene's classic novel, Brighton Rock. With
original music by John Barry and lyrics by Don Black,
Brighton Rock will open at the Almeida on 20 September
with press night on Tuesday 5 October and will run
until 13 November.
Designs are by Lez Brotherston, with
lighting by Tim Mitchell, musical direction and arrangements
by Steven Edis, choreography by Karen Bruce, sound
by John Leonard and fights by Terry King.
A gang war is raging through the dark
underworld of 1930's Brighton. Pinky, malign and ruthless,
has killed a man. Caught up in the violence of the
weekend, the only incriminating witness to the murder
is Rose, a 16 year old Catholic girl with a memory
for faces and eyes only for Pinky. A wedding would
buy her silence, but though Pinky doesn't believe
in love and marriage. Believing he can escape retribution,
he is unprepared for the courageous, life-embracing
music hall artiste Ida Arnold, who is determined to
see justice done. Brighton Rock is a thrilling study
of gangland rivalry and the psychology of a psychotic
seventeen year old Catholic boy.
John Barry was hired to score his first
film in 1960 and has since written music for over
one hundred films including Born Free (music and lyrics),
The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with
Wolves as well as eleven James Bond scores including
Goldfinger and Thunderball. Barry has written four
stage musicals including Billy, which he wrote in
collaboration with Don Black. As well as receiving
the OBE in 1999, John Barry has won five Oscars, four
Grammy Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards and a Golden
Don Black made his West End debut as
a lyricist with composer John Barry on the musical
Billy, starring Michael Crawford at the Theatre Royal,
Drury Lane. His more recent theatre work includes
lyrics for Tell Me on a Sunday, Bombay Dreams and
the book and lyrics (with Christopher Hampton) for
Sunset Boulevard for which he won two Tony Awards.
He has written over a hundred songs for films including
The Italian Job, Out of Africa, five James Bond theme
songs and Born Free for which he won an Oscar. In
1999 he was awarded the OBE.
Giles Havergal was Artistic Director
of The Glasgow's Citizens' Theatre for over 30 years.
Previously he was Director of Watford Palace Theatre.
In 1989 Giles Havergal's adaptation of Graham Greene's
Travels with My Aunt was presented at the Citizens'
Theatre. The production subsequently transferred to
the West End, then to Broadway, and in 2002 toured
the UK. His other adaptations include Summer Lightening,
David Copperfield and Death in Venice.
Michael Attenborough has been Director
of the Almeida Theatre Company since 2002. From 1980-84
he was Artistic Director of the Palace Theatre, Watford
and between 1984-89 Artistic Director of the Hampstead
Theatre. At the Royal Shakespeare Company where he
was Executive Producer and Resident Director from
1990-96 and Principal Associate Director between 1996-2002,
his productions included Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet,
Othello, Henry IV parts 1 & 2 and Anthony and Cleopatra,
After Easter by Anne Devlin, Amphibians by Billy Roche,
Pentecost and The Prisoner's Dilemma by David Edgar
and The Herbal Bed by Peter Whelan which transferred
to the West End and then to Broadway. He is now an
Honorary Associate Artist of the RSC. For the Almeida
he has directed the British première of Neil LaBute's
The Mercy Seat and the World première of Joanna Laurens'
Five Gold Rings.
Graham Greene was born in Hertfordshire
in 1904. While at Balliol College, Oxford he published
his first book of verse. He continued to write throughout
his lifetime, and served with the Secret Intelligence
Service during the Second World War. He was a member
of the Order of Merit and a Companion of Honour. He
died in 1991.
Brighton Rock is presented at the Almeida
in association with Bill Kenwright.
10 May: More from the Michael Attenborough interview has
appeared in Variety:
"The fall season starts in September with the Almeida's -- and
Attenborough's -- first musical, "Brighton Rock." It's adapted from
the Graham Greene novel whose 1947 movie version starred Richard
Attenborough, Michael's pa, as the young psychopath Pinky.
Giles Havergal, a dab hand at Greene rewrites from his work on
"Travels With My Aunt," is adapting the book, with music and lyrics
from John Barry and Don Black, respectively; Lez Brotherston ("Swan
Lake," "The Dark") will design. Bill Kenwright, who has nursed the
venture with Barry for some 30 years, brought the show to Attenborough
and will move it if reviews and business warrant.
So, are we to expect "Blood Brothers, Part 2"?
Attenborough smiles. "I warned Bill I'm going to do a very hard-nosed
production of a bleak, tough, cruel novel. This will be stripped-back,
very poor theater" -- though its cast of 18, budgeted for a band
of eight, makes "Brighton Rock" the priciest Almeida venture yet."
10 May: There is an article in the Sunday Times (May 9)
by Matt Wolf, London theatre critic for Variety, who has been speaking
to Almeida director, Michael Attenborough:
"So what do you do for an encore? The Almeida's (and Attenborough's)
first-ever musical, for starters, which kicks off his second season
in September. The choice of title - Brighton Rock, scored by John
Barry, to book and lyrics by Giles Havergal and Don Black - isn't
exactly an un- familiar one in the Attenborough household. Michael's
Oscar-winning father, Richard, starred as the psychotic Pinkie in
the 1947 film, and before that in a separate stage version."
10 April: Award-winning theatre sound designer John
A. Leonard has been engaged to design the sound for the forthcoming
John Barry / Don Black musical, 'Brighton Rock'.
08 February: An informed source set out the likely dates
for the Brighton Rock schedule:
- Rehearsals: July
- Fit up: late August
- First Preview: early September
- Press: early September
- Opening: mid September
06 February: A change on the Alan
Brodie website. It now says:
BRIGHTON ROCK (Musical) Graham Greene/ Giles
Havergal (book), Bill
Kenwright Ltd, Almeida
15 January: Mrs. Barry, speaking recently, said they are
all very excited about Brighton Rock which is expected to open late
21 October 2003: A very well informed source
informed Dave of the John Barry Yahoo group recently: "Brighton
Rock is now on the fast track and we hope to open the show next
autumn." Thank you Dave, and your source!
06 October 2003: We received news a few weeks
ago, saying that "the music had not been completely written
and that the show would not be produced within the next twelve months!"
So, that would make it October 2004 at the earliest.
Please, don't read too much into this. Musicals take
time to develop - Billy took almost 3 years before it was ready.
My reading of this is that Barry & Black will continue to polish
the songs whilst the producer and director sort out casting and
funding, which is also all important.
I'm not surprised it might be another year before
it hits the boards and have more faith in this going ahead than
I do with any of JB's film projects!
24 July: Brigton Rock is likely to open next
year at the Almeida
London, where Michael
Attenborough (son of Richard) is artistic director. It is hoped
that it will eventually transfer to the West End of London and then
29 June 2003: Brighton Rock may replace Blood
At the launch yesterday of his new biography Wrestling
with Elephants, lyricist Don
Black revealed more details of the upcoming stage adaptation
of Brighton Rock.
Based on Graham Greene's 1938 novel about gang warfare
at the English seaside, the musical will have a book by Giles
Havergal (who's previously adapted Greene's Travels with My
Aunt), with lyrics by Black and music by John Barry.
Speaking yesterday at the Gielgud Theatre, Black described
the show as "hell, damnation and Catholic guilt". The stage production
will be directed by Michael
Attenborough, the Almeida Theatre artistic director and the
son of Richard Attenborough, who played outlaw-protagonist Pinkie
in the classic 1947 film.
Brighton Rock will be produced by Bill
Kenwright and is due to open in the West End in 2004. It may
find a home at the Phoenix
Theatre, replacing Willy Russell's Blood Brothers, another Kenwright
production which, celebrating its 15th birthday this August, may
have nearly run its course in the West End.
20 June 2003: The Evening Standard newspaper
of June 19 had an interview
with Don Black. [page no longer exists] "Brighton Rock" is also mentioned.
(JPG format, 260 kB, 1002x1298 pixels).
15 June 2003: Speaking on Michael Parkinson's
radio programme Parkinson's
Sunday Supplement on BBC Radio2, Sunday the 15th June [page no longer exists], Don
Black confirmed that he and John Barry are working together
on a stage musical version of Graham Greene's Brighton Rock, with Bill Kenwright producing [BR page no longer exists].
The aim is to launch the musical next year, 2004.
He said Barry had called it "the first nightmare musical"!! They
are very excited about it.
31 August 2002: Brighton Rock is on course
for Autumn 2003! But see also: http://www.alanbrodie.com/html/theatre.html [page no longer exists], which gives no dates.
More than 35 years ago, John Barry first began work
on a stage musical version of Graham Greene’s ‘Brighton Rock’. His
collaborators included the author himself, Wolf Mankowitz and Joseph
Losey – who John wanted to direct. He wrote several songs and Greene
provided some lyrics of a kind, but in the end it was never staged.
A few years later John said it had proved too difficult in having
a villain as the central character.
However, news is filtering through of another attempt
which appears on a much firmer footing. For a start, they have
a powerful producer, theatre-owning impresario Bill Kenwright, who
by coincidence was in the cast of John’s first musical, Passion
Flower Hotel. Don Black is once more ensconced as John’s lyricist
– they have written arguably the best of John’s songs together.
And they even have a try-out opening date in mind – Autumn 2002.
To date John has written at least half-a-dozen songs and assuming
they meet with the approval of the producer, Don Black will start
writing the lyrics.
musicals in the UK is a difficult business with very few succeeding
financially. So it is essential the casting and director is just
To play the part of ‘Pinkie’, the central character,
it might be shrewd business to cast a well-known pop-star or young
actor. Robbie Williams, anybody? Well, he plainly thinks he *is*
31 August: Brighton Rock is on course for Autumn 2003!