Cast album for new Guy Fawkes musical recorded in Arundel

The original studio cast recording of a new Guy Fawkes musical is set to be released on Bonfire Night, November 5.

Saturday, 24th October 2020, 7:00 am
Ben Durkin

Recorded just near Arundel, it features West End performers Adam Pearce and Francesca Leyland leading a professional cast.

The musical has yet to be performed, but even in difficult times composer Ben Durkin is hoping that it might catch the eye of a producer somewhere with a view to a production next year.

But in light of the ongoing pandemic and the toll it has taken on live theatre, the team are now offering musical fans the chance to enjoy Guy Fawkes the Musical from the comfort and safety of their homes instead.

Ben Durkin (music) collaborated with Terry Newman (book & lyrics) and David T Rolleston (additional lyrics). It was orchestrated by Mike Saunders at his studio The Playroom, Arundel and then mastered by Andy Walter at Abbey Road Studios.

Ben, who lives near Manchester, is delighted with the results – and optimistic that something might come of it: “I met Mike quite a few years ago online and we got chatting. I went down to visit him and I have used him for all my work ever since. It is a top of the range studio, and Mike is very, very experienced. We did a concept album back in 2015 and that was recorded down there too. We are now taking it one step further. We rewrote a lot of it and completely rewrote the script, and it is now a double album. I am really glad to get it out there.

“We haven’t had a production yet. It has been about getting the album out there first and we are just trying to get it in front of a few producers. It’s not a great time to be pitching a new show, but we just want to try to get some interest. We want to get it on stage next year. I am optimistic. This is my first attempt at doing anything like this.

“I have always been interested in stage musicals. I saw quite a lot from an early age. I decided that I would like to have a go at composing one. And then one night, back in 2013, I was looking for a bonfire night recipe for a party I was hosting, and the story came up. I read up on it and I really researched it, and it was fascinating. It really resonated with our times. Guy Fawkes is essentially what you would call a terrorist really, and it resonates, going on against the background of religious battles.

“I started to write a couple of ideas, and then I came across an 1840s novel by a chap called Ainsworth, a gothic romance set against the Gunpowder Plot background.”

Ben found Terry Newman online and approached him to develop the book into a script. Terry then asked if he could do the lyrics as well.

The result is – reflecting the original book – a sympathetic portrait of Guy Fawkes who emerges as a hero by the end of it: “He ends up renouncing the plot and choosing romance instead but it is too late by then because he has been caught and he finishes up getting hung, drawn and quartered. The novel very much portrays the Catholics as the good guys in the fight against injustice, and the musical is very heavily based on the novel.

So now, it is a question of fingers crossed: “We just hope that we get some interest in it.”

The cast recording of Guy Fawkes the Musical features Adam Pearce as Guy Fawkes (theatre credits include Prince of Egypt, Evita, Sunset Boulevard), supported by a professional cast, including Francesca Leyland (Les Misérables, The Light Princess), Sandy Grigelis (Sister Act, Now That’s What I Call The 80s) and Waylon Jacobs (Hamilton).

The album offers nearly 30 newly orchestrated songs, bringing together a professional team of more than 25 vocalists and musicians. The album is available at

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