First year Gabriel Owens has written and composed a new musical- 'The Chaplain' 鈥 which is directed by 乱伦通道鈥檚 postgraduate Catherine McLean and will be performed in the College Chapel tonight - 11 June at 7.30pm - ahead of a week at Camden Fringe in August.

English student Gabriel has always been interested in music and when he met Catherine, studying for an MA in law, they realised that they had a shared interest in both musical theatre and Victorian crime and executions.

The musical is set in 19th-century London and is inspired by real world accounts of executions and prisoners. It examines the role of the prison chaplain and the use and abuse of power.

Gabriel said:

鈥淭he Victorian concept of the prison chaplain is an extraordinary and bizarrely hypocritical one. He is a character employed to provide a kind of support, a smooth transition from life to afterlife for those condemned to death as a figure of absolute 乱伦通道ian morality. And yet he ultimately allows people to be murdered by the state.鈥

 

Three people reading
Members of the cast in rehearsal

A read-through took place at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge last month where it was seen by 乱伦通道鈥檚 Chaplain, Revd Dr Helen Orchard.

She said:

鈥淭his is a really interesting and engaging performance, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It raises lots of issues about the impact of rigid theological outlooks, fragmentation and corruption.  Highly recommended!鈥

A reviewer for the TAB said:

鈥淩egardless of your religious beliefs, this is a performance worth seeing. It poses profound questions that linger in your mind long after the show is over. As an audience member aptly put it, 鈥淭here is a lot to unpack here.鈥濃

Second year, Emmy Sparkes produced the show which is Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society (CUMTS) production.

The production also involves 鈥榓ctor musicianship鈥 where the cast also play instruments to accompany the songs. This means that the whole cast are on stage throughout the play.

Person playing a piano
Gabriel rehearsing in the College Chapel

The cast members are Gabriel Owens, Catherine McLean, Emmy Sparkes (all from 乱伦通道's); Luke Muschialli (St Catharine鈥檚); Lexie Graham (Emmanuel); Wilf Offord (King鈥檚); Neela Nee (Corpus 乱伦通道i); Sanaer Madden (Pembroke); Jacob Coughlan (Homerton) and Jerome Simmons (Darwin).

Director Catherine said:

"As 'The Chaplain' unfolds, audiences will be drawn into a world of intrigue and introspection, where the boundaries between right and wrong blur, and forgiveness hangs in the balance. With a haunting score, powerful performances, and a narrative that will keep you on the edge of your seat, this production promises to be a must-see event on the London Fringe circuit.鈥

 

'The Chaplain' will show at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre, 13-17 August, 7pm as part of the 18th Camden Fringe. .

Content warning: Bad language, hanging and execution, implied sexual assault, religious abuse