The Buskers Opera - Art Matters: Pass It On

We're making theatre accessible for people restrict by financial barriers. Help us crowdfund for 'The Buskers Opera' a new kind of musical!

We did it!

On 26th Apr 2016 we successfully raised £6,505 with 87 supporters in 28 days


  Art Matters #PassItOn

A New Musical by Dougal Irvine

Running at Park Theatre from april 28th - June 4th 2016

Our goals are simple but we need your help...


We're raising £10,000 to -

  • Donate 100 tickets a week to those who can't attend theatre due to financial barriers via our 'Art Matters: Pass It On' ticket scheme. 

  • Present the FIRST EVER *relaxed performance at Park Theatre



With your help, we need to raise £10,000 to do two really important things that, we hope, will make our show as inclusive as possible:

1 - Help cover the costs of the relaxed performance at Park Theatre - these costs include staff training, targeted promotional activity, extra staffing for the performance, and some added extras to make our guests experience as comfortable as possible i.e. bean bags and educational material around the show. 

2 - Subsidise our Arts Matter - Pass It On ticketing scheme, which will see (initially..) 100 free tickets a week distributed to charities, youth groups and outreach programmes in the area and around London.


*What's a relaxed performance?

Relaxed performances cater to those in our society who may find regular trips to the theatre uncomfortable due to, for example, a physical, mental or sensory impairment including those with autism, learning or behavioural difficulties or those with social anxieties. Some slight adjustments are made to the show in order to make those in attendance feel as comfortable as possible - lighting states softened, sound levels reduced and theatre doors are left open allowing audience members to come and go as they need to. Capacity levels will also be restricted to give everybody a little more space to enjoy the show!


If you can help at all then pick a perk and come see us at Park Theatre from the end of April.



(If you want to know more about the show and what else we've been upto then scroll down and take a look!)


P.S If you can help or know a charity that may benfit from our Pass It On Ticket scheme

or have ANY questions about the show or our crowdfunding efforts feel free to get in touch!




- We were delighted to workshop elements of the piece with Cardboard Citizens, who have been making life-changing theatre with people who have experienced homelessness, or are at risk of homelessness, for nearly 25 years. It was in such a session that the creative team discovered actor, songwriter, and top bloke, Ishmael Gander who also will be part of the company, playing ‘Matt / Dissenter / Beggar’.


- A competition was launched in December for set design submissions from students at the University Of The Arts – next door to Park Theatre. Entrants where whittled down to four and we ran a public display of submissions in the theatre and held a round of public voting. The winning entrant was 2nd year student Anna Kezia Williams. Anna will be mentored by leading set and costume designer David Woodhead and her design realised for the stage in our production of the Buskers Opera.





"The future's ripe for those who mix

Their Artistry with politics...." 


London 2012. The world is watching. Can the city deliver the greatest Olympics ever? Pulling the strings is media mogul, broadcaster and puppet master, Jeremiah Peachum. Together with his star of the show, Lockitt, the Mayor of London, they are perfectly placed to capitalise on Team GB's gold and drive their political agenda across the finish line.

Enter satirical street busker Macheath and his gang of dissenters ‘The Ninety Nine Percenters’. They're the talk of the town - out to take the fat cats down - and it’s working! This time, Mac may have bitten off more than he can chew. But it's the twenty first century - you can’t kill a man for singing a few songs, drinking a few beers, inciting political activism in hundreds of thousands of people and sleeping with your daughter. Or can you?

With the ever-influential media operating twenty-four-seven, capital punishment needs to find a new method of delivery...

Expect a reckless abandon of political correctness and some top class tunes to redefine a golden age....



The Buskers Opera will star Olivier Award-winning George Maguire (Best Supporting Actor in a Musical Award for Sunny Afternoon) as ‘Macheath’, Lauren Samuels (Bend it Like Beckham, Grease, We Will Rock You) as ‘Polly Peachum’, David Burt (Original Les Miserable 'Enjolras', Jesus Christ Superstat, Women in White) as media mogul 'Jeremiah Peachum' and  Natasha Cottriall (Into The Woods, Future Conditional) as ‘Lucy Lockitt. They're joined by John McCrea as ‘Filtch’, Maimuna Memon, Giovanna Ryan and Ishmael Gander make up Macheath's band of dissenters the 99Percenters, and BBC Radio4 regular Simon Dylan-Kane completes the cast as 'Mayor Lockitt.'


Writer | Dougal Irvine
Director | Lotte Wakeham
Musical Director | Sean Green
Set Design | Anna Kezia Williams
Set Design Mentor | David Woodhead
Lighting Design | Christopher Nairne
Sound Design | Andy Graham
Musical Staging and choreography | Lucie Pankhurst
Casting Director | Charlotte Sutton
Producers | Michael Peavoy, Neil Marcus, Jamie Clark and Paul Tryer for the Buskers Opera LTD



Writer | Dougal Irvine

Dougal read psychology at the University of Birmingham, before training as an Actor at Mountivew. He acted for eight years, notable roles include Mark in Rent (Prince of Wales Theatre), Manjiro in Pacific Overtures (Leicester Haymarket) and Understudy Fiyero in Wicked (Apollo Victoria).

He trained in playwriting at the Royal Court. His first musical, Departure Lounge won the MTM award for Best Music at the Edinburgh festival, was selected to run at the New York Summer Play Festival, and subsequently received its full London and US premier productions in 2010 simultaneously at the Waterloo East Theatre and Royal George Theatre, Chicago US. The UK production was nominated for Best New Musical at the 2011 WhatsOnStage Awards.

Dougal was also bookwriter/lyricist/composer for In Touch which ran at Trafalgar Studios as part of Perfect Pitch, and then at the Pleasance, Edinburgh 2010. He was lyricist for the recent smash hit Britains Got Bhangra (Stratford East/Rifco Arts- TMA Award Nomination). He was also composer/music director for The Merchant of VeniceThe Merry Wives of Windsor and The Comedy of Errors (Changeling Theatre/Hazlitt Arts Centre) and most recently The Witches at Leicester Curve.

Songs by Dougal have featured at three WhatsonStage award winners concerts.


Director | Lotte Wakeham

Lotte is delighted to be directing The Buskers Opera, having previously directed Dougal Irvine’s The Other School (St James Theatre).

Her directing credits include Upper Cut at Southwark Playhouse, which was nominated for the 2015 Alfred Fagon Audience Award.  Lotte has previously been nominated as ‘Best Director’ in the Off West End Awards for her production of The Kissing-Dance (Jermyn Street).  Her production of Lizzie Siddal at the Arcola Theatre won 2 Off-West End Awards (2013).

Regional credits include: Sweet Charity at Leicester Curve and new family musical Rumpelstiltskin at Theatre Royal Bath, which transferred to the MAC Theatre, Belfast. 

Other directing includes UK tours of: Twelfth NightA Midsummer Night’s Dream and Danny the Champion of the World.  Further London credits include The Beautiful GameAustentatious and Allegro.

Lotte is the Associate Director of Matilda (West End and Broadway).

She trained at the National Theatre Studio.


Musical Director |  Sean Green

Sean has a classical music degree from Birmingham University and completed a postgraduate diploma in Musical Direction from the Mountview School of Theatre Arts in 2009. Sean was most recently Musical Director on Into The Woods at the Manchester Royal Exchange and Assistant MD on the European Tour of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with BB Promotions. Prior to this his credits as a Keyboard player include Stephen Ward the Musical at the Aldwych Theatre, Cabaret Tour with Will Young (also Assistant MD), Evita Tour with Marti Pellow (also Cover Conductor), The UK Tours of WickedThe Phantom of the OperaWhistle Down the Wind and Peter Pan with Michael Rose Productions in Dublin and Southampton. Credits as Musical Director include the original production of Soul Sister at the Hackney Empire, and the subsequent transfer to The Savoy Theatre and the UK Tour, the UK Tour of Britain's Got Bhangra with Rifco Arts, plus Little Red Riding HoodFive Guys Named Moe and Aladdin all at Stratford East Theatre Royal, as well as Buddy Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Pages: Promised Land at the Union Theatre and the 400th Production of Honk! at George Square 1, Edinburgh Festival. He has assisted on I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky, a joint production between Stratford East and the Barbican, and Crazy For You an Eyebrow 48 Hour Showtime Challenge. Alongside the musical direction credits he has also workshopped Leave Hitler To Me Lad with Duck Egg Theatre Company (Uk Tour), Laila with Rifco Arts, Material from The Diary of Me with Perfect Pitch and Stuart Matthew Price at the Musical Theatre Academy, Fanny Hill a new the musical at the Jermyn Street theatre and has taught at Mountview School of Theatre Arts, Guildford School of Acting, Arts Educational London, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, Tring Park School and the Performance Preparation Academy.


Musical Staging and choreography | Lucie Pankhurst

Trained at the Arts Educational School and the London School of Contemporary Dance.

Theatre credits include; Sweet Charity, NYMT at the Curve Theatre. Directed by Lotte Wakeham Shock Treatment, the Kings Head Theatre. Directed by Benji Sperring The Royale, Bush Theatre. Directed by Madani Younis Love Story, Union Theatre. Directed by Sasha Reagan Dogfight, Southwark Playhouse. Directed by Matt Ryan Horrible Histories Prom, Royal Albert Hall and televised.  Directed by Dominic Brigestock.  For Original Theatre Company: Birdsong, Dancing at Lughnasa, Twelfth Night, Three Men in a Boat, all directed by Alistair Whatley.  Cacophony national tour for the Generating Company.  Devised, directed and choreographed.  Troilus and Cressida at the National Theatre, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn. Assistant choreographer to Arlene Philips for the original choreography We Will Rock You, directed by Christopher Renshaw. Peter Pan, Mort and Love and Madness for YMT. Workshop performance Peter Pan, Lyric Theatre. Directed by Christian Durham Workshop performance Exposure, Three Mills Island.  Directed by David Newman The Fast Show Live tour, directed by Roxanna Silbert. About Kissing and Lyrical Request, Devised, directed and choreographed.  Robin Howard Dance Theatre.  Drowning Point, BlueGreen Productions, Edinburgh Festival and Regents Park Open Air Theatre.

For television, credits include; series choreographer, Horrible Histories, Sadie J and Bad Education, Catherine Tates’ Nan Special, Watson and Oliver, The Omid Djalili Show, Dead Boss, Caroline Quentins’ Little Cracker, Pompidou and the Goodness Gracious Me Reunion Show.Films for Pate, Disney and Universal, commercials for RSA, Homecorps and Hungryman.

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