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Iris Theatre brings Crossroads, their newest work in progress, to St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ON FRIDAY, February 16, 2018, Iris Theatre is presenting A Night of the Blues at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden. The event includes a concert showing of the new musical Crossroads.

Crossroads, which explores a hypothesis for the death of blues legend Robert Johnson, has a book by – and is directed by – Beverly Andrews (recipient of the 2017 Alfred Fagon Award bursary), with score and lyrics by Tim Sutton (MD, 10th anniversary tour, War Horse; musical supervisor, Dusty), and score also by Hugh Burns, a celebrated recording guitarist whose work can be heard on over 130 albums.

Joining Hugh Burns in the cast for the concert are Eli Caldwell (Boys in the Buff), Malcolm Connell (Talawa Theatre), Oliver Hamilton (Strangeways), and Mauricia Lewis (Love Me Tinder).

Take a journey to America’s deep south in a soulful, sweltering evening of blistering delta blues, followed by a presentation of the new musical Crossroads.

Guitarist Hugh Burns, who has played with many of the most influential contemporary artists of our times, including Michael Jackson and George Michael, will take the audience on a magical, musical journey through the history of America’s most influential musical form: the blues.

Crossroads is a blues musical which looks at the life and offers a hypothetical explanation of the mysterious death of blues legend Robert Johnson – an artist who still influences generations of musicians almost a century after his death.

Robert Johnson was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician, who died unexpectedly in August, 1938 at the age of only 27. The lack of public information about his death – even the location of his grave is unknown – has led to a long series of conspiracy theories; Crossroads presents a new hypothesis for what happened.

A Night of the Blues is the newest addition to Iris Theatre’s Workin Process scheme, which promotes the work of new musical theatre writers by providing a platform for showcases in the heart of the West End, at the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden. In December, Iris released a new album of Christmas-themed musical theatre songs as part of Workin Process’ annual Xmas Factor competition.

Iris Theatre is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed company, growing its output substantially over the coming months following a record-breaking 10th anniversary year in 2017. Its annual summer season will be announced shortly, featuring a Shakespeare and a family production in outdoor promenade in the grounds of St Paul’s Church.

NB: While there is no age restriction for this performance, some scenes may be distressing to young children.

Tickets: £12 (£10).

Time: 7.30pm.