We are Noisemaker; the award-winning musical theatre writing partnership of Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie. And this is our website!
Based in Glasgow, Noisemaker strive to create and develop original, innovative work that challenges and celebrates the form of musical theatre, connecting new audiences to new stories and pushes their expectations of what a musical can be.
Have a look around to see and hear what we're up to at the moment.
Scott & Claire x
HI, MY NAME IS BEN The true story of an ordinary man and his extraordinary life. From his tiny room in New York City, Bernhardt Wichmann III changed the lives of those around him without saying a word. Using just his notepad and pen, Ben turned a neighborhood of strangers into a community of friends, before finally encountering a miracle of his own. His story is one of endurance, friendship, community and, above all, asks the questions “what do we need to be truly happy?”
In January 2017, Noisemaker became the first Scottish writing team to be selected for the prestigious Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Connecticut. Over the two week residency, we constructed a first draft of BEN.
Following this, Noisemaker partnered with Goodspeed Musicals and Dundee Rep in an international collaboration to develop the show further. This led to a developmental reading in New York City in January 2018 and a further workshop in Dundee later that year. Noisemaker and Dundee Rep presented a unique one-off concert performance of HI, MY NAME IS BEN in a unique collaboration with acclaimed string orchestra; Scottish Ensemble.
Now, we are delighted to announce that HI MY NAME IS BEN will premiere at Goodspeed Muscials this Spring as part of their 2019 Season. The production will mark the first time a transatlantic collaboration has presented a new piece in this historic theatre and features a cast including Adam Kaplan (Newsies, A Bronx Tale) and Tony-nominee Barbara Walsh (Company, Nine, Falsettos).
HI, MY NAME IS BEN will premiere on Friday 17th May and will run until 9th June at the Norma Terris Theater in Chester.
If you would like to hear some of HI, MY NAME IS BEN then be sure to click here to listen to some of the concert performance at Dundee Rep.
For more information on our forthcoming production, please follow the links below:
Broadway World Cast Announcement
“Meet the Writers” at Dundee Rep
We are also excited to be holding a special one-off event in partnership with the American Scottish Foundation and Goodspeed in New York City on April 29th. This will feature extracts from the show and is held in the prestigious University Club on 5th Avenue. To attend please click here.
This Christmas we are very excited to be returning to Dundee Rep Theatre, in partnership with Selladoor Worldwide and DC Thomson Media, to bring one of Scotland’s most beloved characters to life on stage; OOR WULLIE!
The show will premiere at Dundee Rep this year before then embarking on a national tour in 2020. Wullie is a character we, like so many, can trace back to our childhood, and it is a great privilege to work with DC Thomson to prove that even after 80 years he is still Oor Wullie, Your Wullie, A’body’s Wullie!
For information on the show, and to purchase Early Bird, tickets please click here.
Here are some other links to our partners for this project:
Sunday Post Article on Wullie’s 80th Birthday
The Archie Foundation “Oor Wullie BIG Bucket Trail”
When Gerda’s best friend Kai goes missing in the snow, she must face her fears and embark on an epic quest to find him. With the help of an unlikely band of companions - a knight, a crow and a bandit - Gerda travels North to confront the Snow Queen and rescue her friend. But there are secrets in the snow and rumours aren’t always the truth…
THE SNOW QUEEN was a co-comission by Dundee Rep and the Citizens Theatre for Noisemaker to create a revamped and reimagined telling of Hans Cristian Andersons' classic winter fable. With an epic original score, spellbinding storytelling, and a pinch of Christmas magic, our new version of THE SNOW QUEEN premiered at Dundee Rep during Christmas 2018 and will go on to have a further production with the Citizens in Glasgow.
THE SNOW QUEEN is a two act musical running at 110 minutes. It is written for a cast of between 9 and 12, depending on the scale of production. For any questions or enquiries regarding licensing please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you like a hear to some demo tracks from THE SNOW QUEEN just click here!
Also, to see us chat a little about the Dundee Rep production of THE SNOW QUEEN just follow the link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXhSbNxn_YU
THE SNOW QUEEN PRESS
“a new twin star emerge in the Scottish Christmas show heavens, as writer-composers Scott Gilmour and Claire Mackenzie, launch their pitch-perfect new version of The Snow Queen, on stage at Dundee Rep… beautiful, generous and richly involving Christmas show, for children and adults alike.”
The Scotsman ★★★★
“Gilmour and McKenzie’s songs that drive the show, a mash-up of Celtic-tinged indie-pop show-tunes and rich chorales… a musical winter warmer designed to melt hearts and minds.”
The Herald ★★★★
“Genuinely action-packed and exciting… a Christmas tale for our times”
The Stage ★★★★
“Witty retelling of a winter quest with imagery that will chill you… stirring emotions as well as the senses.”
The Times ★★★★
“everything you could possibly want at this time of year… fantastic songs, an enthralling plot, The Snow Queen grips you in the palm of her icy palm and refuses to let go… if you see one Christmas show, make it this one.”
“Weaves together traditional and modern threads… a fresh telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale”
Across The Arts ★★★★
Interview with Neil Cooper for The Herald
LITTLE RED AND THE WOLF was originally commissioned by Dundee Rep Theatre as a new family musical for their Spring 2016 Season. Based on the classic children's fable, LITTLE RED AND THE WOLF is our version of a story we all know and love.
Following it's run in Dundee, LITTLE RED went on to receive nominations for Best Production for Children and Young People at the Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2016 and (in the same category) at the UK Theatre Awards 2016.
The show went on to a successful run in upstate New York with Infinity Theatre Productions in Spring 2017.
LITTLE RED AND THE WOLF is a one act musical running at 90 minutes. It is written for a cast of between 6 and 9, depending on the scale of production. For any questions or enquiries regarding licensing please contact us at: email@example.com
And if you fancy a listen to LITTLE RED AND THE WOLF be sure to click here to hear the cast recording!
LITTLE RED AND THE WOLF PRESS
“makes you want to howl with delight”
The Sunday Herald ★★★★
“gripping throughout, funny, forceful, and thought-provoking.”
The Scotsman ★★★★
“A feminist fairytale we’d all like to believe”
The Guardian ★★★★
“an experience akin to viewing a modern kids' animation film. Like the Toy Story or Kung Fu Panda movies, it is carefully balanced, not only to entertain children, but also to amuse grown-ups.”
The Herald ★★★★
“a positively contemporary and wonderfully life-affirming take on the story of Little Red Riding Hood.”
Broadway Baby ★★★★
“friendship and acceptance with an appealing sincerity that stays on the right side of sentimentality.”
The Times ★★★★
“a truly contemporary story, full of not just heart and soul but guts and brains and moral fibre too. And even though it’s clearly targeted at children, even adults may find themselves having the most fun they’ve had in a theatre for a very long time.”
The Reviews Hub ★★★★★
What do a cheerleader, a science geek, a sports jock and a hardcore emo all have in common? They’re all members of the Legend Trippers; a group of unlikely high school heroes who band together to conquer their town's most haunted spots and sites. But when a new girl comes to town, the Trippers ﬁnd themselves in a legend of their own…
Noisemaker are thrilled to be commissioned by the National Youth Music Theatre to create a brand new musical for their 2019 Season.
LEGEND TRIPPERS is an action-packed adventure for young people that explores the legends we’re passed on, the ones we’re making today, and how we might go about questioning them.
The show will premiere this summer at The Other Palace in London and will feature a cast of 28 exceptional young people from all across the UK.
Much more soon, but for information on the show, and the rest of NYMT’s 2019 Season, check out the links below:
SONGS FROM THE SEVEN HILLS is an original musical based on the lives and stories of the people of Sheffield. Commissioned by the Sheffield Crucible, Noisemaker partnered with playwright, John Hollingworth, and the acclaimed Sheffield People's Theatre, to develop this large scale community project as part of the Crucible's 2017/18 Season.
Using a mass cast of local people, SONGS FROM THE SEVEN HILLS was an ambitious and heartfelt project, celebrating this rich, vibrant community and it's stories.
For more information on the project check out some of the links below:
Crucible Website - https://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/songs-from-the-seven-hills
Musical Theatre Review - http://musicaltheatrereview.com/sheffield-
SONGS FROM THE SEVEN HILLS PRESS
“Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie’s songs are catchy and intelligent”
The Stage ★★★★
“Transgender teen Georgie’s solo song about her body being her home, and wanting that home to reflect the person who lives in it, is one of the most moving and accessible ways I’ve seen the experience of being trans articulated in fiction”
Broadway World ★★★★
“Uplifting production… Thought provoking… The sense of community has never been stronger.”
North West End ★★★★★
THE GIRL WHO is a multi-path musical which places the audience in complete control of the story. Based on the iconic “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” series, it follows the journey of Anna, a young girl who is searching for her parents. Through games of chance and moments of choice, the audience determine Anna's decisions, her morals, her successes and her failures; not just affecting which path she takes, but how she does so. With 171 possible versions, every show is unique. Entire worlds, scenarios, characters and songs may be unlocked (or missed altogether) depending on the choices made, leaving the audience to question; "what if I'd chosen differently?"
THE GIRL WHO was commissioned by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2014 as a new work for the MA Musical Theatre Programme to present as part of their Edinburgh Fringe 2014 Season. The first production was co-produced by RCS, Noisemaker and Theatre Bench.
Since it's Fringe run, THE GIRL WHO has had several reiterations. In July 2015, it played in upstate New York with Infinity Theatre, which saw the piece rescaled for a bigger ensemble of young people. The show was selected to play as part of "Musical Bites" at the Other Palace, London - a project designed to promote the future of British Musical Theatre. It also became the first international project to be selected for The PiTCH at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in the Finger Lakes, NY. The PiTCH provided a developmental platform for the work and, during this process, was picked up by Merry-Go-Round for production in early 2017.
The show was redeveloped for a smaller cast to tour throughout New York state as part of the Merry-Go-Round's 2017 Season. This production reached over 10,000 young people and their families, with 20% living below the poverty line.
THE GIRL WHO recently was developed with the American Musical Theatre Project in Chicago as part of a unique six-week residency Noisemaker held with Northwestern University. The had a number of public and industry presentations and is now in development for a future production in Chicago. Much more on this soon!
THE GIRL WHO is a one act, interactive musical that currently runs at 60 minutes. It works for a cast of between 5 and 20, depending on the scale of production. For any questions or enquiries regarding licensing please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you fancy a listen to THE GIRL WHO be sure to click here to hear a cast recording!
THE GIRL WHO PRESS
“The Girl Who YOU MUST GO SEE” although less subtle than the title is a very truthful statement.”
British Theatre Guide ★★★★
“a fast-paced, romping yarn. Roll the dice, take a chance, and see which show unfolds”
The Herald ★★★★
“It is fascinating that the cast, like the audience, have no idea where the story will go next. A great idea, brilliantly executed: don’t miss it!”
"Presented in the round with cast mingling with the audience, it’s almost like living in a fairy-tale for an hour that, no matter your age, you just can’t help but be captivated by...it leaves you wondering what it would be like if we had collectively made different choices. For that, this is one production to watch again and again.”
Broadway Baby ★★★★
"Just like all the best fairy tales (or circuses, for that matter) this show is a perfect blend of light and dark; a blend of joy and fear”
“A wonderful piece of innovative interactive theatre with delightful storytelling. The production grabs your attention and takes you on a joyous ride of imagination - whatever your age.”
“The Girl Who is at various turns insanely infectious fun, and at other times, filled with poignant moments of aching beauty.”
FringeReview (Highly Recommended)
“a bravely sad ending packs a real punch, casting a careless decision we make right at the start in a poignant light. We don't always know what's going to be momentous in life; there is a grown-up conclusion here to the show title’s unfinished sentence.”
Noisemaker were delighted to partner with the National Theatre of Scotland, Birds of Paradise and Richard Thomas (JERRY SPRINGER: The Opera) in 2018 to create the hilarious, irreverent and heartfelt new musical; MY LEFT/RIGHT FOOT.
In a production celebrating diversity, equality, and our changing attitudes to disability, MY LEFT/RIGHT FOOT premiered at this years Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it received a sell-out run and was awarded a Scotsman Fringe First and a Herald Angel.
If you’d like to hear the cast recording from the Edinburgh Fringe production simply click here!
For more information on the show, including where it’s heading next, please check out the links below - you won’t want to miss it!
MY LEFT/RIGHT FOOT PRESS
“Without the music, the show would not be what it is. Filthy and shocking, but also downright side-splitting, musical and lyrical masterminds, composer Claire McKenzie and lyricist Scott Gilmour of Noisemaker, create a musical score which complements the show’s satirical nature.”
Sunday Post ★★★★★
Evening Standard ★★★★★
“The songs written by Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie are solid gold. I’m definitely going to need a cast recording”
Broadway World ★★★★★
“the shows songs are clever, heartfelt, funny, often refreshingly filthy and brilliantly performed”
Scotsman - Winner of Fringe First 2018 ★★★★
“Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie’s compositions similarly too good to be pastiche… Utterly fanspastic.”
The Herald - Winner of Herald Angel 2018 ★★★★
“The score is pretty near perfect… expect your face to ache from smiling non-stop”
Musical Theatre Review ★★★★★
“The shows’ main pleasure, however, lies in the clash between the ropiness of the am-dram setting and the clever, inventive songs”
The Times ★★★★
“this is a scathingly funny and massively enjoyable show that uses popular theatre to tell unpopular truths about box ticking and our outmoded attitudes to inclusion”
“The music by Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie sparkles with wit and parody… from a satirical take on “Electricity” from Billy Elliot in “Spasticity” to a powerful ballad “On The Outside” and a take on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s style with “The Show is F**ked… Fight for a ticket, it’s a must-see show!”
British Theatre Guide ★★★★★
“a perfectly pitched, gloriously irreverent and fantastically funny exploration of the thorny issue of how we treat disabled people in our society”
“The original numbers provide some of the shows greatest moments, with lyrics that leave the audience unsure as to whether they should laugh or cringe… an unforgettable new musical.”
The Skinny ★★★★
Currently in development, GOD HELP THE GIRL is a new project with acclaimed Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch, and the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow. Originally a Belle & Sebastian concept album, GOD HELP THE GIRL was made into a feature film in 2012 starring Emily Browning and Olly Alexander.
A few years on, Noisemaker are now reworking this story and score to become a live stage show, combining elements of the film, the original album, and a helping of new ideas too! More to come on this project soon but, in the meantime, check out the original album on Spotify by clicking on the widget.
(it's super cool!)
"I'm all alone. I don't know who I am. Please. Help me."
FOREST BOY was created in partnership with the New Musical Development programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Based on the incredible true story of a boy who appeared in Berlin on September 5th, 2011, claiming to have lived in the wild with his father for the past five years of his life. He had no memory of his past, who he was or where he came from; only that his name was Ray and he'd travelled to Berlin following the death of his father in the woods. What followed were nine months of speculation, police inquiry, and a global media frenzy, as the mystery of the "Forest Boy" slowly unravelled.
We began writing Ray's story as it was unfolding in 2012 and, in 2013, FOREST BOY premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe alongside another of our pieces, FREAKSHOW.
As a result of it's Fringe run, FOREST BOY was selected to transfer to the EHE8 Festival held at the Arcola Theatre, London. During this run, the show received the S&S Award for Best New Musical, in association with Mercury Musicals and Musical Theatre Network. The focus of the S&S Award is to further the professional development of a new musical by pairing writers with industry mentors and help them work towards a showcase performance in London. Noisemaker worked with acclaimed director and choreographer Jonathan Butterell, Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland, Laurie Sansom, and West End Musical Director, Mike Dixon, redeveloping FOREST BOY. In 2015 this version was presented at The Other Palace.
Following it's time in London, FOREST BOY was chosen as one of 10 Next Link productions to be shown at the renowned New York Musical Festival in NYC; the first time a UK writing team had been selected to do so. Collaborating with director Robert McQueen, Noisemaker gave FOREST BOY it's US-premiere at the Pearl Theatre Company in August 2016. The show was well received and was awarded the Stage Rights NYMF Publishing Award 2016.
If you'd like to read the true story that inspired us to write FOREST BOY, click on the articles below. Alternatively, check out our FOREST BOY website at http://www.forestboy.co.uk
Telegraph "Authorities Appeal" Article:
Telegraph "Mystery Solved" Article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/9333519/Forest-Boy-finally-identified-and-admits-I-made-it-all-up.html
FOREST BOY is a one act musical that runs at 80 minutes. It works for a cast of between 6 and 10, depending on the scale of production. It is scored for a piano, keyboard, guitar, cello, violin and double bass. For any questions or enquiries regarding licensing please contact us at: email@example.com
And if you fancy a listen to FOREST BOY be sure to click here to hear the cast recording!
FOREST BOY PRESS
"With excellent writing and a talent pool this good is easy to see that the future of Scottish and indeed British Musical theatre is in safe hands."
Broadway Baby ★★★★
"a haunting score... and a tantalizing story"
British Theatre Guide ★★★★
"Their goal to create and develop fresh and innovative music theatre has certainly been realised "
The Herald ★★★★
"a simultaneously earthy and soaringly fantastical musical "
Three Weeks ★★★★
CEILIDH is a miniature opera commissioned by renowned new opera company NOISE.
Noisemaker were privileged to work alongside NOISE’s own Gareth Williams, and writers Kevan O’Reily and Jenny Knotts, to create three original operas to be premiered as part of the European Championships Glasgow 2018 at Glasgow’s Oldest (and most famous!) Bar; Sloans.
A moment of connection might change a life for ever. An unexpected meeting leads to a life of searching, consequence and of course, dancing! This unique opera packed with singing, dancing and immersive storytelling. So grab your partner and come join us this summer at Sloans!
For more information on CEILIDH, NOISE and the European Championships, please follow the links below.
Artwork is “Crimson Birl” by Janet McCrorie http://www.janetmccrorieartist.co.uk
ATLANTIC: A SCOTTISH STORY was commissioned as part of a unique international collaboration between The American Musical Theatre Project at Northwestern University and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Two writing teams - one Scottish team and one American team - were selected to write two original musicals for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017. Noisemaker was selected as the Scottish team and, over a nine month period, developed ATLANTIC: A SCOTTISH STORY with students from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Northwestern University in Chicago. This played in rep with the American show, ATLANTIC: AMERICA AND THE GREAT WAR. Thematically linked, both shows explored our countries differing ideas of heritage, identity and belonging.
ATLANTIC: A SCOTTISH STORY was our first look at traditional Scottish music and storytelling in our own work (it only took us six shows to finally get the fiddle and bodhran out!)
It received a hugely positive critical response at the festival and resulted in Noisemaker being selected for a coveted Herald Angel 2017. This award was for our work on ATLANTIC but also for our commitment to expanding the Edinburgh Festival as a platform for new musical theatre, both in Scotland and internationally.
ATLANTIC: A SCOTTISH STORY is currently a one act musical running at 70 minutes. The Fringe production featured a cast of 16 but the show can play with a core cast of 9, depending on the scale of production. It is currently scored for a live band of piano, guitar, percussion, fiddle and double bass. If you have any questions or enquiries about licensing please contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you fancy a listen to ATLANTIC: A SCOTTISH STORY be sure to click here to hear the cast recording!
ATLANTIC: A SCOTTISH STORY PRESS
"packs quite an emotional punch"
The Herald ★★★★★
(WINNER OF HERALD ANGEL 2017)
"a breath-taking piece of new writing... If you see nothing else this Edinburgh Fringe season get your tickets to ‘Atlantic: A Scottish Story’"
"an excellent piece of work, joyous and wholesome with a family/community spirit"
" A wondrous tale of love, belonging, family and tradition... I had tears at the emotional ending"
British Theatre Guide ★★★★★
"Beautifully told with a refreshing perspective"
Musical Theatre Review ★★★★
Evening Times Article on the Herald Angel Awards: http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/15470208.Herald_
FREAKSHOW was the first show developed by Noisemaker for a new works festival in Glasgow called On the Verge. This was a collaboration between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and new writing venue, The Arches, to allow a platform for aspiring writers and theatre-makers to try something new.
FREAKSHOW was initially a promenade song cycle focussing on some of history's most iconic "Freak" performers. Located in an abandoned, underground rail station, the audience travelled through the space encountered performers such as The Missing Link, The Half-Lady and Thumbelina. FREAKSHOW transferred from The Arches to the Actor's Church in Covent Garden, London and then to The Roundhouse, London. The production garnered some notice and acclaim and we were awarded the Scottish Daily Mail Drama Award 2012.
The award allowed us to remount FREAKSHOW, along side our newest piece at the time, FOREST BOY, and present both as a double bill of new work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013 with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
FREAKSHOW is a one act musical running at 70 minutes. It works for a cast of between 7 and 13, depending on the scale of production. It is scored for a live band of piano, violin, cello and double bass. For any questions or enquiries regarding licensing please contact us at: email@example.com
And if you fancy a listen to FREAKSHOW be sure to click here to hear the cast recording!
"Noisemaker is living up to its name of specialising in original, bold, innovative musical theatre... a fresh new voice and a fascinating piece of theatre"
The Herald ★★★★★
"an inventive, touching and absorbing musical"
British Theatre Guide ★★★★
"Darkly sparkling and innovative"
Broadway Baby ★★★★
"Truly intelligent... relentlessly gripping"
"Completely original musical theatre"
In 2015, Noisemaker were commissioned by the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh to create an entirely original score for Theresa Howard's popular adaptation of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.
THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE is a two act musical running at 130 minutes. It works for a cast of between 9 and 11, depending on the scale of production. For any questions or enquiries regarding licensing please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you fancy a listen to THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE be sure to click here to hear the cast recording!