Posts Tagged ‘London Calling’

London Calling: Interview with Phil Willmott

August 13th, 2016

cprm16bCrime & Punishment: A Rock Musical – Interview with Director Phil Willmott

As part of London’s Free Open-Air Theatre Season, Crime & Punishment: A Rock Musical will hold its world premiere at The Scoop in London Bridge this month. Directed and adapted by Phil Willmott and featuring music by legendary rock legend Toyah Willcox, this revamped production will transform Dostoyevsky’s most famous and influential novel into a thrilling new musical. We sit down with director Phil Willmott to get the low-down on this adaptation of a classic with a tuneful twist.

London Calling: What attracted you to doing a rock-version of Crime & Punishment?

Phil Willmott: Well, we always try to do plays that reflect what’s going on in London society. Right now, we’re all very interested in what motivates these lone wolf killers to commit these terrible atrocities around the world. Crime & Punishment is very much about this, about a young man who sincerely believes that for the greater good and because of his beliefs that he is entitled to kill, so it feels very topical. And even though it’s a 19th Century Russian novel, the story is all about student angst, anger, and idealism so it seemed to really suggest itself to rock music as a sort of language for anger and alienation, as well as having a youthful energy.

LC: You’re using music by Toyah Willcox and Simon Darlow. What is it about their music that fits so well with this rock adaptation?

PW: Well in the 80s she was the punk princess. She was the person who took punk rock and sort of glamourised it and made it theatrical, while still retaining the kind of rawness, the anger and the energy of rock. So, because that’s my generation’s music, the first thing I did was to go back and listen to her songs and then I discovered that she is still recording and is still a best-selling recording artist so I got in touch with her and explained what I wanted to do and fortunately she said yes, that she’d love to come on board.

• Continue reading at London Calling.