Local couple Kimberly and Dave Holden are gearing up for the premiere of their first original musical, Medusa, which will launch online on Friday 14th August 2020.
Kimberly and Dave lead Manchester Musical Youth (MMY), a group of 150 young people who are known for their award-winning performances of shows including Les Miserables, Half A Sixpence and Footloose. Their new home-grown show has given a much-needed boost to youngsters facing tough mental health issues and has brought out surprising new levels of creativity for the group, aged from 8 to 30+.
‘Medusa’ is a story inspired by Greek mythology and has been self-penned, composed and filmed by Dave, with musical direction and production by Kimberly. The couple held online auditions to cast the show, then sourced costumes, props and make up through the resourcefulness of their newly established costume store and home-based young members. All of the cast then learned, rehearsed and recorded harmonies and parts online.
‘Green screen’ filming has taken place with strict guidelines in place at Cadishead Band Room in Irlam, the use of which was donated free to MMY for the project. Kimberly said, “Dave and everyone at the Cadishead Band room has been fabulous. They just want to encourage the youngsters and get theatre back up and running again. So kind of them to support the arts!”
Dave, who is also a school music teacher, added, “It’s always been a dream of mine to write a musical. Lockdown has given us the time it always needed. The themes of Medusa are about challenge, adventure, intrigue and hope, which reflect so many of the emotions which we’ve experienced during this time. It’s been a labour of love, and we’re so proud of the children and how it has kept our musical family together.”
Lily, one of the cast members said, “It has been a real challenge in lockdown as my family has been shielding, being part of Medusa has really inspired me and helped me keep up my confidence during these difficult times. The MMY family is such a lovely community and I can’t wait to get back to live rehearsals.”
Medusa will premiere online on Friday 14th August at 7pm and will be made available for free on YouTube. If you’d like to support the project, donations are being collected on GoFundMe to support Z-Arts Arts Centre, the Hulme arts and theatre venue which MMY usually stage rehearsals and productions in.