“MD’ing is one of my favourite things in live music.”Ben Stone.
I have been incredibly fortunate to have been musical director for a number of shows over the past year or so. This is an area I have always wanted to work more in and thankfully I have been afforded that luxury. It’s always a lot of work but something that is so rewarding for me. It suits the way my brain works.
BBF – Boy Bands Forever – Early 2017 I got involved with a new musical called Boybands Forever which is a comedy take on the construction of a famous boyband such as NSYNC or Take That! It has it’s serious moments too but it’s really a celebration of the music of boybands! I worked with a serious creative team who I’d been involved with on previous big shows I’d played with Helene Fischer back in 2015. BBF was written and directed by German TV personality Thomas Hermans https://www.quatsch-comedy-club.de and the show was masterfully choreographed by Marvin A. Smith http://marvin-a-smith.de Musical Supervision by Christoph Papendiek and yours truly as Musical Director.
Boybands Forever musicians include – Ben Stone (MD/Drummer), Matt Round (Bass), Toby Chapman (Keys), Martin Mayer (Keys), Luke Juby (Keys), Ryan Haberfield (Guitar), Matt Bishop (Guitar) and Gary Wallis (Drums).
Putting together a new musical from scratch was a lot of work and a lot of fun. All the arrangements and new versions of classic boyband songs were done over a 3 week period with the help of my great friend and wonderful musician Toby Chapman. After Toby and I had done the initial work I set about implementing Marvin’s ambitious changes and “live show” elements. We worked closely for two weeks writing and designing epic versions of these famous songs to bring this huge spectacle to life. We have now done three full tours of this show amounting to well over 100 shows in Arenas, Concert Halls and theatres all over Germany, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland. Possibly coming to a UK theatre near you soon?? Who knows but the thought is nice.
Everyman Theatre – Cheltenham – I’ve been lucky enough to continue to work with the great team at the everyman theatre in Cheltenham which is run in conjunction with Mark Goucher Productions on their annual pantomime. I brought with me my knowhow from working as a programmer/Sound Designer in London’s west-end and on many other pop tours from stadiums, arenas, theatres and clubs to give what was a regional pantomime a real pro sonic flavour. Big pop numbers as well as tunes from musical theatre played with all the trimmings you’d expect from a Take That concert meant this big budget show has gone on to break it’s box office records year on year in the past 5 years that I’ve been involved which is testament to our team working on the show. I’m writing this in 2019 which is sadly the last year that I’ll MD this show. I wish the new team there the best of luck in their next production. On to pastures knew…
If you’d like to get in touch with Ben about MD’ing your next tour please use the contact page here.