CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Alchemy: Cheltenham’s Newest Musical

PUBLISHED: 16:48 19 August 2013 | UPDATED: 17:06 22 August 2013



(C)2013 Neil Palfreyman, all rights reserved

Brooke Cleave meets with the cast of ‘Alchemy’, a rock musical coming soon to the Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre.


Sitting in the traditional and quaint Royal Oak in Bishops Cleeve isn’t where you’d expect to find two rock pros, usually thought of for their high-volume singing and head bashing. But alas, here sit composer Clive Nolan and producer David Clifford, sipping on chilled glasses of Rosé and discussing the financial matters regarding their upcoming musical.


Alongside the practised cast sits Paul Blower, the newbie to the group. A recruiting company director by day, he transforms into a guy-liner clad diva by night. “I met David when he came to me looking for a job” he said. “We got talking about our passion for music, then David asked me to try out for the chorus for his latest musical. So I did, but I never imagined I’d be cast as a lead role.”


The most acting experience Paul had until this point was as a criminal in a Police training video, but - as he pointed out – it’s never too late to start.


Composer Clive now lives near Windsor, but still has a penchant for his Gloucestershire roots. “I grew up near Nailsworth and went to school at Wycliffe College before moving to Kings in Gloucester. The two years spent at Kings were the best of my life.” His composing talents were found here, where he was asked to compose Christmas carols for the choristers and entire school to sing in Gloucester Cathedral. “The Cathedral and surrounding grounds are my favourite place to visit when I’m in the Cotswolds – they are an oasis in the middle of Gloucester and bring back so many happy memories.”


Now on to bigger and better productions, ‘Alchemy’ includes 50 members of cast and took Clive over three years to compose. He’s also built a fan base across the world, following a global tour and performances in Bolivia. “Eighty per cent of my audiences come from outside the UK. It’s hard to break into the British theatre market without a big budget, but we’re trying to attract more locals along – they just need a little faith to try something new.”


When the cast isn’t cooped up rehearsing, they’re quite an outdoors bunch. “My new favourite thing to do is to take a trip on the narrow boats in the canals around Stroud,” Paul revealed. “I hopped on one from Saul last weekend and was surprised how quiet it was – completely undiscovered by tourists”.


So where will they be celebrating after it’s all finished? “The Gumstool at Calcot Manor is always great,” says Paul, “but to be honest, once it’s all finished I look forward to going home, kicking back and relaxing with a cold beer.”


• ‘Alchemy’ runs at Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre from the 5-7th September 2013. Tickets can be bought from the box office by calling 01242 522852.




More from People

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

25 years in business is no mean feat – and the owner of Lauren’s Catering has lost none of his ambition

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Julian Dunkerton has moved his family’s cider-making business from Herefordshire to the outskirts of Cheltenham, where it boasts a state-of-the-art production unit and a stylish new shop. But don’t think the heart of the business has changed one whit: it still honours the core values Ivor and Susie Dunkerton held dear when they planted their first apple tree, nearly 40 years ago

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

If you want to spread some Christmas cheer to those in need, here are some fantastic charities in the Cotswolds to donate to

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Harnessing the power of social media, charity awards and dreaming up new projects - it’s all in a day’s work for Gloucestershire children’s charity Pied Piper and its corporate supporters

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Cotswolds’ very own Prince of Wales turns 70 this month, so we looked back on some of the highlights of his life and career, and wondered what birthday pressies we would buy for the man who has the world at his feet

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

When landowners are looking to sell their land, and want a transparent journey that delivers them best value, Rosconn Strategic Land is here to take them through the process.

Read more

Radio DJ Paul Gambaccini has secured a payout from prosecutors over unfounded allegations of historical sex offences. The presenter, 69, was arrested in 2013 over a claim he sexually assaulted two teenage boys in the early 1980s. Mr Gambaccini always denied the claims, calling the case “completely fictitious”. He spent a year on bail before the case was dropped. Two years later he gave this interview to Katie Jarvis

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Barn Theatre’s artistic director, Iwan Lewis, talks to Candia McKormack about a rather special project aimed at bringing the Cotswold community together in commemoration of the Great War’s fallen

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The environmental charity set up to protect Stroud’s industrial heritage now enhances the lives of its own volunteers. Katie Jarvis meets chief executive Clare Mahdiyone to hear about her Cotswold Life

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Alex Caccia was in two minds about setting up Animal Dynamics as a limited company, but a shark attack warning changed all of that. Tanya Gledhill meets a man on a mission to change propulsion, one animal at a time

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

He quit his job with a few thousand pounds in savings and an empty garage. In less than a year, Nick Grey’s technology company Gtech was flying. Tanya Gledhill meets him

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

How does it feel to interview Sir Michael Parkinson, the nation’s best-ever interviewer? Katie Jarvis takes a very deep breath – and finds out

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

When Charles Martell became the latest High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, he started discovering things about the county he never knew – not to mention things about himself, too. Katie Jarvis spoke to him about saw pits, walnuts, peaceable towns and pink-headed ducks

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search