Charles Garland Productions
Charles Garland Productions

FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT !!byChris Hamel-Cooke and Charles Garland

This is the back-stage story of the cast of a new musical, the show-within-a-show called "WELCOME TO HELL!".
It is the final, tense week of rehearsal, and not everything is going to plan. Everyone seems to be going through their own personal hell ...

A selection of songs from the show, starring Lyn Paul (Blood Brothers, New Seekers etc) and the BRILLIANT young students from PERFORMERS COLLEGE can be heard on "soundcloud".



A new approach to combat bullying, on-line or on the streetusing the easily accessible genre of music theatre

Running at a little under an hour, and aimed at Year 6, "Another Way" introduces a variety of themes through dialogue and song. The cast of four play various roles, each with a clearly defined character, through which they explore friendship, loneliness, and bullying, as well as the consequences of anti-social behaviour, drinking and vandalism.

The bright, upbeat songs deliver such messages as "tell someone right away" for the bullied, "home is where your friends are" for the lonely, and the value of "just being who you are" for the majority of us who never win anything.

The audience is drawn into each story, and encouraged to consider what they would do in similar circumstances, or what they should do if they already find themselves caught up in undesirable situations. The songs are available either before or after a performance, and can be used for further work in school.

"Another Way" by Charles Garland, is available now.
Commissioned by NORTHGATE HIGH SCHOOL in Dereham, Norfolk UK.

The first half of the show is set in WWII , in war torn East Anglia, on the borders of Suffolk and Norfolk, and tells the story of an American airman, who falls for an ordinary country girl, alone when her husband is called up, with unexpected consequences.

The second half leaps forward sixty-five years to the Middle East, where the rest of the story is played out in the contemporary theatre of war which remains ongoing. The unexpected twists in the story are heightened by the continuing futility of war today as it was yesterday. Although the show may be seen as "anti-war" it is most definitely "pro-troops".

'Over Here' received its World Premier on 13th APRIL 2005 at Northgate High School, Dereham, with additional performances from 14th to 16th April. The cast of 116 were directed by JIM RYMER, who inspired the production from its inception. Musical Direction was by CATHY BROOKS, and Music Arrangements by CY PAINE, capturing the style and atmosphere of the Roaring Forties in TWENTY ORIGINAL SONGS.

A further week of production at The Playhouse Theatre in Norwich took place in July 2005 to enthusiastic audiences.
Cool SchoolbyChris Hamel-Cooke and Charles GarlandCool School was first performed in October 2002. A fully updated version is now available for schools. Libretto and score are available to bona fide interested organisations, and we are happy to discuss any proposal to stage the show. With 20 original songs, this is a comic pastiche of life in a failing boarding school, transformed by the amazing events experienced by one, very unusual pupil.
A new, and enthusiastic production took place at Moreton Hall School in Bury St Edmunds on 25th and 26th March 2009. BRIAN ROBINSON, something of a local genius at producing shows such as this, took on the show, and delivered a heart-warming, funny, and fun packed version, for which we were indebted. It demonstrated brilliantly the suitability of this show for prep schools and years 6/7/8 productions, as it can be produced with a minimal set, few costumes, and simple accompaniment. Loads of fun for not much investment!

A number of delightful young people recorded a selection of songs from this show : and these songs can be heard by following this link :

SoundCloud :
Atlantis : by Chris Hamel-Cooke and Charles Garland
" The Scotsman " reviewed the show on Wednesday August 26th 1987 Robbie Dinwoodie wrote : "Set, as the title suggests, in the mythical ancient land of Atlantis, this new musical has been written for the young company by Chris Hamel-Cooke and Charles Garland. A kind of pre-Belle Helene operetta, it depicts the lost land, in the days before its destruction, as a humane, peace loving nation whose noble aspirations survived to continue down the ages the struggle against evil. The vehicles for this battle are the young man destined to rule Atlantis, Tor (Sean Sibley) and his young love Cara (Sarah Sharpe) their innocence and goodwill threatened by a kind of evil freemasonry led locally by her father (Carl Lawrence) and a mysterious senior figure at court. This is ingeniously handled against the known demise of Atlantis, and is an enthusisatic, lively offering of family entertainment from the youngsters of Stafford."

Thank you Robbie !

The first musical written by brothers Chris and Charles, this was commissioned by 'GRASS ROOTS', Stafford Youth Theatre led by the amazing, talented and inspirational ALAN FIELD. Chris met Alan whilst touring as MD on either West Side Story or Joseph - and Alan suggested that we write a show for them. Following a week at The Borough Hall in Stafford, the show was taken to The Edinburgh Festival where it ran for two sensational weeks, and reviewed by The Scotsman in traditional fashion (see above)

Charles later produced and directed a concert version of the show, recorded in Studio 8 at the BBC's Television Centre. It was the first multi-camera wide screen (16x9) studio recording in the UK. The show was narrated by Jeffrey Holland, with principal roles sung by the sensational West End stars : Dave Willetts, Anita Harris, Yngve Gasoy (a leading Scandinavian star) and Lisa Hull. The chorus came from the casts of all the major West End shows - Phantom, Miss Saigon, Blood Brothers, and so on. It was staged by Brian Rogers, with some members of the 3rd year of his Performer's College taking part. Orchestrations were by the lovely Roy Moore, who was, and is simply brilliant.

Listen to the whole concert performance on SoundCloud :

A DVD of this version is available to any interested producer. It is a 'double love story' with a young and an older couple, and is set in the legendary city of Atlantis in the 24 hours before it is destroyed.

If any company would like to stage a production of "Atlantis" I would suggest that I do a re-write, and bring it up to date specially for them - thus creating another chance for a "new world première". Contact me via the link on the home page.
Rick by Simon May, John Doyle and Charles Garland
Music and Lyrics by Simon May (Eastenders, Smike etc)

Book by John Doyle, Charles Garland, Simon May

Despite several school productions, the show has not yet made it to a professional staging. With performances ranging from an excellent debut in Cobham, Surrey, to the last of many versions of the script, given by NOMADS - based in their own delightful little theatre in Newmarket. This was a terrific production, gaining the gratitude of us all. Admirers of Simon's earlier work, 'SMIKE' may care to consider this show for schools. It is particularly well suited to a prep school or middle school, with the lead role of Rick ideally sung by a talented boy with an unbroken voice. Contact our office for details.