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07/02/05 Darwin Festival centrepiece draws on Shropshire's young talent

07/02/05 Darwin Festival centrepiece draws on Shropshire's young talent-Body

DARWIN FESTIVAL CENTREPIECE DRAWS ON SHROPSHIRE’S YOUNG MUSICAL TALENT

Four young Shropshire musicians whose original compositions will be performed at Inherit the Wind, the centre piece production at Shrewsbury’s Darwin Festival, have been praised by the director of the production.

Isabel Garrard, Alexandra Russell, Adam Jones and Antony Stevens were approached by Inherit the Wind director Sonia Knight, to write new songs and arrange the play’s existing numbers. All in their early twenties three are university graduates with degrees in music, whilst Anthony Stevens is currently at the Birmingham Conservatoire Jazz School.

Inherit the Wind is a dramatisation of the infamous Tennessee v John Thomas Scopes ‘Monkey Trial” of 1925, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee. Set in a courtroom during the intense heat of a Tennessee summer it is a powerful and ultimately uplifting story often seen as a face-off between Darwinism and Creationists, However, it is not about the theory of evolution versus the literal interpretation of the bible - the real theme explores freedom of thought and man’s natural thirst for knowledge. Performed by Shropshire County Drama Group and part funded through the Arts Council of England, the play will be take place in St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury.

Drawing on 1920s southern American influences such as blue grass, folk and gospel, musical director Isabel Garrard co-wrote three new songs with Adam Jones entitled ‘Garden of Eden’, ‘Singing My Sorrows Away’ and ‘Oh Lord show me the Light.’ All four musicians will also take to the stage in various roles.

Sonia Knight, commenting on the music for the show, said: “These accomplished young musicians have researched and composed three very powerful songs with a true authentic feel. I’m sure the audience will be impressed with what they hear.”

Inherit the Wind is at St Chad’s church, Shrewsbury from 23 to 26 February. Tickets, priced at £10 and £8 (concessions) are on sale through the box office at the Music Hall, Shrewsbury on 01743 281281 or online at www.musichall.co.uk

Pictured: (left to right) Antony Stevens, Adam Jones, Isabel Garrard and Alexandra Russell, outside St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury.

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