How To Win Against History
Newcastle Northern Stage
Tuesday 10th – Wednesday 11th October 2017
Written and composed by Seiriol Davies
Directed by Alex Swift
A run-away hit of Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016, the fierce and fabulous musical based on the life of the 5th Marquis of Anglesey comes to Newcastle
“a work of genius” «««««Daily Telegraph
Seiriol Davies’ sell-out show from Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 was a huge hit with audiences and critics alike; now the musical extravaganza will be returning to the Fringe and touring the UK – starting at Pontio, Bangor, near Anglesey, home to both Seiriol and the central character – before a run at the Young Vic.
Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic
Seiriol stars as Henry Cyril Paget, the flamboyant cross-dressing 5th Marquis of Anglesey who gained notoriety for squandering his family’s godlike wealth on diamond-studded plays, star vehicles for himself which nobody came to.
The ‘Dancing Marquis’ inherited his title in 1898 at the age of twenty-one, and was declared bankrupt just six years later, after burning through his vast fortune, spending it on bejewelled dresses, poodles dyed lilac, a fleet of cars modified to give out rose-scented exhaust fumes, and touring Germany with an enigmatic show called The Famous Electric Butterfly Dance. When he died a year later, his family burnt every record of his life they could find, and carried on as though he’d never been. How to Win Against History is an outrageous musical about being just too weird for the world, but desperately not wanting it to forget you.
Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic
Seiriol Davies said, “I grew up on Anglesey, the island on top of Wales, and as a kid I'd visit Plas Newydd the ancestral seat of the Marquises of Anglesey. There were busts and paintings honouring the 1st Marquis, the 2nd, the 3rd, the 4th. Then of the 5th… there was a laminated printout of a handful of pictures in the back porch above the doormat. Because this guy was ‘different’. Google ‘Henry Cyril Paget’ and you’ll see what I mean; he looks like Freddie Mercury having gone for a run through Elizabeth Duke's wearing a sellotape suit. But this isn’t some ‘poor little rich boy’ story, it’s about wanting to be part of the world, and the feeling not necessarily being mutual. And what the dickensy heck would it mean to have your whole life judged invalid? I'm stunned by how people have responded to the show, and thrilled that this means we get a chance to take this story to more people, with a slight upgrade on the sparkles budget. Henry rides again! ”
Seiriol Davies is a writer, composer and performer who trained at LISPA. He has made shows with Punchdrunk, You Need Me, Gideon Reeling, One Tenth Human, Beady Eye as well as being a member of Weimar operatic glam band Temper Temper and punk music hall act Underbling & Vow. In 2012, he worked with Caroline Horton & Co to create and score Mess, which won The Stage Award for Acting Excellence and an Argus Angel. He is currently writing a musical called Scroungers for Boundless Theatre and Ice & Fire, and developing sitcoms for radio and television. The follow-up to How to Win, Milky Woods, inspired by Under Milk Wood and Twin Peaks, is currently in development.
Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic
Director Alex Swift’s recent work includes Me and Mr C by Gary Kitching, Error 404 by Daniel Bye, Fat Man by Martin Bonger, Mess by Caroline Horton & Co, Puffball by Caroline Williams, and I Told You This Would Happen by Kathryn Beaumont. He developed his solo show, Travesty, at Theatre in The Mill, Bradford, is currently developing Kieran Hurley's An Injury, and has co-directed Kieran Hurley's Heads Up which will be playing at Summerhall. He is also Artistic Director of permanent red Theatre Company and an Associate Artist with Daedelus Theatre Company.
Áine Flanagan Productions produces Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho and its sister show Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows by Jon Brittain and Matthew Tedford. Margaret Thatcher has now sold out three Edinburgh Fringe Festivals (2014 - 2016), has been programmed twice at Leicester Square Theatre for another two sell out runs and has toured the home and abroad to sell out audiences. For Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, she is also producing Prom Kween by Rebecca Humphries and Hear Me Raw by Daniella Isaacs.
The Young Vic produces new plays, classics, forgotten works, musicals and opera. It co-produces and tours widely in the UK and internationally while keeping deep roots in its neighbourhood. It frequently transfers shows to London’s West End and invites local people to take part at its home in Waterloo. In 2016 the Young Vic became London’s first Theatre of Sanctuary. Recent productions include Simon Stone’s multi award-winning new version of Lorca’s Yerma which returns to the Young Vic with Billie Piper reprising her performance in July, the premiere of Charlene James’ multi-award-winning play Cuttin’ It and Ivo van Hove’s multi award-winning production of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge (West End & Broadway transfers), as well as Horizons, a season of work exploring the lives of refugees. David Lan is Artistic Director, Lucy Woollatt is Executive Director. www.youngvic.org
On The Web:
@HowToWinAgainst | @seirioldavies | #HowToWinAgainst
Writer and composer Seiriol Davies
Director Alex Swift
Musical Director Dylan Townley
Set and Costume Designer Verity Quinn
Lighting Designer Dan Saggers
Dramaturg Eve Leigh
Devised by the company
Matthew Blake, Seiriol Davies and Dylan Townley
Tuesday 10th – Wednesday 11th October 2017 Northern Stage, Newcastle
Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 7RH
7.45pm | £10
Box Office: www.northernstage.co.uk or telephone 0191 230 5151
Running Time: 75minutes | Suitable for ages 14+