For 2 days only we are holding three mini-Chichester Fringe Events before we start preparing for Chichester Fringe 2024 (which you'll find out more about at the end of this week!). We are bringing back some of the talented performers from Chichester Fringe 2023 to help us.
We are excited to welcome back Belle Street and their show ‘Hugh: The Musical’. This post has been written by Emily Doye.
North Dorset based band members Susan Grant and Joni de Winter describe themselves as a vintage inspired act. They form a lively vocal duo, ready to entertain any crowd with their clever covers and parodies of popular songs – ranging from the 20’s to modern day.
Belle Street have a very large repertoire of work, from intimate events such as private parties and formal dinners to bigger events like writing their own shows, Fringe performances and bespoke festivals.
Winner of Best Show in Shaftesbury Fringe 2022, ‘Hugh: The Musical’ is an original Fringe style musical; a light-hearted look at love, friendship and the trials and tribulations of being a performer. Two hopeful performers have been given what could be their big break - a musical to tour with all the promise of success… we get to join them as they navigate the questionable plot of a romantic comedy, especially when the rest of the cast don't show up and the budget is cut to the size of a flea!
This new musical promises to be a comedy ‘masterpiece’ that follows two strong women with busy lives, their friendship and a mysterious letter from someone called Hugh... but can the performers carry it off to an unsuspecting audience whilst dodging the many plot holes (and without falling out)?
We spoke to Joni and Susan about ‘Hugh: The Musical’ and we can’t wait to welcome them back to Chichester Fringe!
What inspired Hugh: The Musical?
We are primarily an events band and the idea for Hugh: The Musical came about when we began to notice if you are particularly lazy with your diction - a lot of songs begin to be about somebody called Hugh! ie ‘It’s all about Hugh’, ‘I will always love Hugh’, ‘Hugh make me feel like a natural woman’.... this made us laugh and we thought it would be fun to make a parody musical using existing songs, about this person! But whilst we were in the writing process we decided to challenge ourselves by writing the opening song, the finale and then we just wrote all the songs in-between! So, now, the musical has 7 original songs and is inspired by our friendship and the trials and tribulations of being performers.
Can you describe the show in 10 or less words?
Hugh is a female led interactive fringe-style comedy musical!
What has been your stand out moment in Belle Street history?
For us, it was after deciding to write our own musical and launch it at the Shaftesbury Fringe in 2022. The night before the performance laughing about something that went wrong in rehearsal, and the laughter switched to tears and crying on the floor with worry about how the show was going to go - we discussed cancelling it!!
We stuck with it though and the next day we completely sold out our performance... and won Best Show at Shaftesbury Fringe! So it was a complete turn around for us!.
Why should people come and see your show?
People should come and see our show because it is fun and light-hearted great quality entertainment. It pokes fun at 90s rom coms, performers and ourselves. It is full of interaction and laughs. And it is only 55 mins long! So your bum won’t get numb!
What has been the hardest part about creating this show? And what has been the best?
The hardest bit about creating the show has been believing in ourselves and Hugh as it is our first show with original music we have created. The best bit has been watching that gamble pay off and audiences thoroughly enjoying the show and coming back to see it again and again!
To round off, tease us... do you have a favourite song in the show? Why?
We are very attached to all the songs and they bring a smile to people’s faces but if we had to pick, our favourite song in the show is probably 'The B*tch at 69', as it was the first song we wrote which came very easily to us! It has a tango vibe with a bit more sass. It also has a fun dance routine to go with which we thoroughly enjoy.
Hugh: The Musical will be showing on Thursday 16th November at The Riverside Theatre, Chichester College. The bar will open at the Riverside Theatre at 19:00 with the show starting at 19:30 (run time approx: 1 hour, no interval).