The Hunting of the Snark
I developed a very unhealthy obsession with this musical (which was created by Mike Batt, who wrote “Bright Eyes” and “Caravans” and discovered Katie Melua) after the concept album was played during our Class Music lesson in 1990. I was given a cassette of the album by my Music teacher, which I basically played until it wore out, sadly thinking at that time that I would never be able to find it again. Imagine my delight when I found it at a flea market on CD! Anyway, there are some fantastic songs in this : “Children of the Sky” is a marvellously evocative opening number following the brief “Prologue”, some great character work in the shot pieces where each character describes why they came on the hunt, some fantastic disco in the Act I closer “Dancing Toward Disaster”, and a beautiful ballad late in Act II called “As Long as the Moon Can Shine”. The only song that really didn’t appeal to me as a child was “Midnight Smoke”, which of course holds the key to understanding the final lines of the play. I still think there is a great stage production in this material, just waiting to be brought to the world. That said, I think it could be a marvellous animated musical too, with marvellously creative and even surreal visuals.
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