Wales Blog Awards Winner 2014

Fleeced! A new, crowdfunded musical comedy

So here’s the scene. Me (Matt) and my friends James and Sophie are sitting around having coffee, having just completed a group project, a radio show, for our uni course. We had all enjoyed working together and were vaguely discussing continuing to collaborate in the future. I had recently been to a show called Barbershopera, a 4 piece theatre group who put on a cappella musicals, and had been inspired to write my own musical. I suggested we make this our next project, and thus By The Book Productions was born!

Fleeced!The show is called Fleeced! and focuses on our hero, Jersephules, as he makes his way from humble origins to become a hero. Set in ancient Greece, and utilising many familiar characters, it is a fun, and action packed adventure for the whole family.

Starring Martin Skews, star of stage and screen, with such iconic roles as Hoodie #1 in the Pegg and Frost film Hot Fuzz, and the voice of Make Way For Noddy to his name, as well as a whole team of skilled singers and actors from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, this is a show not to be missed! We are playing the Gate Theatre, on Keppoch Street, from the 14th -16th of November 2013. The Gate is a fabulous venue, and a beautiful building full of beautiful people, and we’re grateful to them for letting us use the space.

However, exciting as this sounds, reality soon catches up, and harsh truths must be faced. And perhaps the harshest truth of all is poverty. Specifically our own personal poverty. We have no money to put on a show. And so, with caps in hand, we turned to that beacon of hope for cash strapped entrepreneurs everywhere, Kickstarter.

Kickstarter, for those not familiar, is a crowdfunding website. People with ideas or products can create a page laying out their dreams and asking for the funds to fulfil them. Kind hearted folks then pledge money, from not much money to really a whole ton of money, and in return, receive rewards for their generosity. So this we did, and you can check out our Kickstarter page, and who knows, even be inspired to donate!

By the BookThis is a really exciting venture for us, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done so far, and can’t wait for the process to come. This is the first musical I have written, and the first full length production I’ve directed, and each fresh challenge renews my enthusiasm. I’d love to make this a success, and go on to make By The Book a byword for fresh new theatre in Cardiff. Assuming Fleeced! is received well, we will write another, aiming for mid 2014, and in the meantime we have more exciting projects in the works…

For more information about By The Book Productions, or Fleeced! take a trip to our website, where you can also buy tickets to the show, which of course, I thoroughly recommend!

Matt Pauley

Donate to Fleeced! on Kickstarter here.

Follow By the Book Productions on Twitter here and Facebook here.