Writer, Linda Walton, set up Solid Rainbow in 2005 to produce inspirational new musical theatre. She explains,
“Since then, I have been writing, developing and shaping musical stories through workshops and readings; working with talented composers, lyricists, actors and directors, writing and re-writing (much more in the shredder than in the scripts). experiencing the creative process and producing work that delights audiences. The Lyric Hammersmith is host to our first public performances with the opening of ‘Butterfly Hero’.
Solid Rainbow stories are (and will be) about people whose lives are changed in a significant way – and we hope our audiences will be touched and inspired by watching them. Read on if you want to know more about me and how I got here…”
- I believe a good story has the power to change your life. Maybe just a little, maybe in a dramatically significant way. In fact, I think a good story should. If it’s not doing that, why are you wasting your time reading it? My earliest memories are of the Famous Five, The Secret Garden, Pilgrims Progress – each of which awakened something inside me. Then Hamlet, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Paradise Lost…a rich, deep plunge into character and conflict.
- For someone who adores musicals, I cannot play or write music! But it was a steady relentless stream of ‘Hollywood’ musical songs from my dad’s record player every Saturday morning in my childhood that introduced me to the joys of ‘Oklahoma’ ‘Guys and Dolls’ ‘West Side Story’ and more, that must have piqued my interest.
- For the past twenty years, work has been a combination of interesting sales and marketing roles in retail and luxury goods, a year out to study an MBA, riding the dotcom boom in the early 2000’s and my own business in executive search. A desire to experience new ways of working and launch into new challenges has been the consistent theme that has driven me.
- Then comes the life changing moment. For me, it was the death of my mum from cancer in her 50s. Although she was ill for a while, the shock of her passing was indescribable and I floundered around for many months. It got me thinking about life and death. And is there a God? What happens next? Where has she gone? Will I see her again? Questions I had not even considered until then. I wanted to believe there was something more, but was there? So I started on a journey to explore spirituality. I signed up to an Alpha course and read a book on world faiths. I discovered friends who were worshipping quietly at their local churches and asked them why, what did their faith mean to them? A friendly Frenchman bought me numerous coffees and was patient enough to answer my ceaseless questions, understand my anger and encourage me to go on exploring. In my search, I met people whose own stories were far worse than mine –a man who had just completed a 10 year jail sentence trying to reconnect with a family that had abandoned him; two sisters who had witnessed the shooting of their own father; a man struggling with his sexuality who had been persecuted and beaten for his past. How did they cope?
- And then, in the words of the great Martin Luther King, ‘I had a dream..’. There was a stage in a theatre with young people in a cocktail bar. The story unfolded in front of my closed eyes. Suddenly, it woke me up and I wondered what it meant. I felt I heard a voice saying ‘I want you to put on this musical’. Ha! What or who was that? I checked it with some of my church-going friends. They told me the bible is full of God speaking to people in dreams and visions so why not you? But surely that was then, this is now? Believe it and do it, they encouraged me.
- Several years on, Solid Rainbow is launched. I have journeyed through writing and re-writing (much more in the shredder than in the scripts), the developing and shaping of pieces through readings and workshops, meeting talented new collaborators and being terribly let down by people I thought I could trust, the support of an inspiring writing group and, above all, the joy of coming to know God. So, Solid Rainbow’s stories are (and will be) about people whose lives are changed in a significant way – and we hope our audiences will be touched and inspired by watching them.
“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:16
May your (and my) rainbows be SOLID. x