Who is Margaret Martin? Well, she wrote the book, lyrics and music for the new musical version of "Gone With The Wind". DOCTOR Martgaret Martin actually. Doctor of Music? No. She has a Doctorate in Public Health, a Masters Degree in Behaviourial Science/Health Education.... and heaven knows what else, but nothing in any way connected to drama, lyric writing or music.
So how did she secure the job of writing "Gone With The Wind - the musical"?
Well, it was easy. She said to herself: "That Scarlet O'Hara is very much like me. I'd like to write a musical about the book/film." And she somehow (wish I knew how) obtained permission from the Margaret Mitchell estate to do so and went ahead and wrote it; then she sent a DVD sample of songs and script to Trevor Nunn and he said:"Good idea. We'll do it."
Something like that anyway.
So, a couple of months afterwards, with a couple of million pounds no doubt invested, the show is on - not in some back street theatre with wooden seats but in The West End.
I don't believe it.
Well, LLoyd Evans of the Spectator believes it, so it must be true.
This is the kind of story they used to write musicals about with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland who would have the material to put on a musical but no backing from anyone.... so they'd say "Why don't we put it on ourselves in the barn attached to the farm - we've got the singers, the cast, the book, the lyrics, the band...." And this they did.
In the barn.
But this show is in The West End!
Sorry to repreat that but it is absolutely amazing.
Maybe the musical I wrote fifteen years ago, for which I found a composer four years ago, will now find a home. Maybe if I send it to Trevor Nunn....
However, somehow I don't think he'll be eager to do another musical for a while, not if he's read the reviews of this one. Especially those that mention the music. "Not a hummable tune in the show."
Well what can you expect from a Doctor of Public Health with a Masters Degree in Behaviourial Science/Health Education?