Premiere of 80s-themed musical Paradise Moon upholds aim of Tall Tales New theatre company founders

A theatre company will premiere a musical play written by its founders whose aim is to present new and original drama in Derby.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 6:00 am
Kim Harris and Mark Jennison-Boyle.

Tall Tales Productions’ first show Paradise Moon is a light hearted and nostalgic look back at the 1980s – packed with catchy, 80s style

Paradise Moon is full of endearing characters and traces the fortunes of a small northern community whose centre is about to be closed down due to government austerity measures. Its central character, Carla Moon (played by Katie Smart), is doing what she can to save the centre, blissfully unaware that her past is about to catch up with her and change the course of her own life and the lives of those in her community forever.

Written by actor and director, Kim Harris, and musician and composer, Mark Jennison-Boyle, the show will be staged at the Woodlands Theatre, Allestree, from January 30 to February 1.

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Katie Smart plays the lead role in Paradise Moon.

Paradise Moon boasts a fine mix of actors. Highly talented and experienced performers from local theatre groups have really brought the show to life. Add in a trio of dancers, and the ingredients for a great night out are all there.

Kim said: “Rehearsals are great fun. At times hilarious. At times very moving. It’s a cliché, but there’s a real sense of family. The actors have really bought into our new production and are putting their own stamp on it. We feel very lucky to have them on board.” Mark said: “We just need to get the cast to rein in their ideas a bit – they’ll all be after a writing credit!”

Paradise Moon is the second show that the two have collaborated on. Kim played the role of the enigmatic station master in At Journeys End, Mark’s first foray into musical theatre, which had a highly successful run at Derby’s Guldhall Theatre in 2018.

So, just how easy is it to put your own show on, when there are just two of you in the company, there’s no money in the account, no grant money on offer, and the Guildhall Theatre is currently closed, forcing you to find another venue at very short notice?

Kim said: “The Woodlands theatre is a great find and we can really make it work for us. Ok, you worry about whether we’ll sell enough tickets, but it’s an unbelievable buzz doing something that no other company is doing. People trust us and are happy to throw their lot in with us. We’re doing what we can ourselves and calling in favours where we can. There’s such a lot of support out there for us, which is genuinely heart-warming. We can’t wait to premiere Paradise Moon in Derby.”