News Release

Alan Hawkshaw writes new West End Musical

When in 1974 the American Academy of Arts & Sciences awarded Alan Hawkshaw the Best Arrangement Award for “I Honestly Love You”, recorded by Olivia Newton-John, it was clear that here was a young arranger/composer with a bright future. His skills as a keyboard player/arranger are now well known and he has worked with many international stars, and composed several musicals and television scores. Song-writing also gave Alan, a member of the St Albans congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the opportunity to collaborate with some of world’s best lyricists. Some of his other awards include the Ivor Novello award, the prestigious Gold Badge Award for services to the industry, from BASCA. He was also nominated for a BAFTA award for a well known TV series and you will hear his theme music everyday on several well known TV programmes.

When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 Alan was determined to be a part of this momentous event in some small way and with his wife Christine, who was born in Germany, they boarded a flight with the intention of experiencing this global historic scene. They were not to be disappointed. Alan managed to procure a hammer and chisel and on arrival in Berlin went straight to the wall and began chipping away at it with many other westerners. They were nearly arrested by the West Berlin Police for damaging East German property!

It may have been the inspiration of seeing the Berlin Wall go down that inspired him to create this new west end musical “Berlin”, or it may be the love of his German born wife Christine. Since that day he has often considered writing about this event and so the musical was born and Alan was fortunate to be introduced to the right people at the right time.  The seed began to flourish, alongside others who supported the production along the way.

The joint production of “Berlin” the musical will therefore be performed as a concert, a performance of the vocal score, on September 21st 2013 at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London in aid of the Alan Hawkshaw Music Foundation at the Leeds College of Music.  With the London Youth Symphony Orchestra and a cast of about 20 singers, including 5 principal singers, this work will be assisted by narration and projection of images from that period. It is a heart wrenching story of the dangerous liaisons between family members who are caught up in the conflicts that surrounded the division of loved ones caught up in political turmoil.

The Italian lyrics were written by Jeanne Madsen, a very talented LDS member living in Utah, who sadly passed away four years ago. The show is dedicated to her memory.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.