“It’s a little bit Groundhog Day and a little bit Matilda,” said Eden Tredwell, the creative who won Aberdeen Arts Centre’s competition to stage a brand new youth musical at the venue.
When the Arts Centre announced they were looking to commission a new musical, the centre’s manager Stephanie Walls didn’t expect to receive more than 50 strong entries.
She said: “The quality of the submissions for this project was so incredibly high – we had more than 50 fantastic new musicals pitched to us.
“Eden’s The New Kid is a playful, fresh take on the time loop trope and it’s full of fabulously catchy pop-style songs. Our young performers absolutely loved the sound of the show and they’re so excited to now be working directly with Eden to shape and create the final piece for their performance at Aberdeen Arts Centre in June.”
The musical – which will star 30 talented local children – is being developed for Aberdeen Arts Centre’s Castlegate Theatre Company (CTC).
New time loop musical is being created for Aberdeen Arts Centre
Eden, 28, who studied at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) in London, graduated with a degree in commercial songwriting in 2015.
She said: “I write musicals and I have a soft spot for youth theatre as I grew up doing youth theatre myself. I thought it was a really lovely opportunity and I had an idea for this really fun musical that could work for the Arts Centre.
“I was thrilled to win the competition. The whole team has been incredibly supportive and collaborative and open to ideas.”
Eden’s musical The New Kid has elements of comedy, drama and sci-fi.
“It’s about a girl called Hana who moves around a lot with her family,” Eden explained.
“She goes to a bunch of different schools and she is given a watch which she breaks and it turns out to be a bit of magic – it sets off a time loop.
“It’s the first day of her starting a new school but she is trapped in a time loop so she’s stuck repeating the first day of school and she’s forever the new kid. So she has to figure out how to break the time loop and how to make friends along the way.
“There’s quite the range of songs in the musical. There’s pop but there’s also a fun Motown number and rock and dance numbers. I love putting in different genres in one musical.”
First time visiting Aberdeen for creator of new musical
Eden visited Aberdeen for the first time last month to meet the cast as well as musical director Lavie Rabinovitz and the show’s director Philip Napier.
Eden said: “The kids were so enthusiastic which was heartwarming. They have questions and ideas that never occurred to me – it’s so useful to get their feedback.
“They were asking me about little details and we were singing some of the songs.
“The team at the Arts Centre are currently developing the show and rehearsing. Since I’m not local, I can’t be there all the time but I’ll be coming back to visit in April and then again when the show is on in June.”
Director Philip Napier said: “When I first came across The New Kid, it stood out and connected with me on many different levels.
“The characters are so real and alive that I felt like I knew these people from my own school days and it’s amazing because the CTC participants see these people in their schools right now too.
“It’s a universal piece that everyone has connected with in some way and the songs are so well crafted by Eden. It’s so fun and the creative team are excited to work on it and CTC are buzzing with creativity in the rehearsal room too.”
Musical director Lavie Rabinovitz said it had been “such a joy” to be part of bringing The New Kid to Aberdeen and to the young people of Castlegate Theatre Company.
Show will be celebration of young people at Aberdeen Arts Centre
He added: “The show is a true celebration of young people, dealing with issues near and dear to many of our experiences growing up – time loops aside – with a groovy score that has the young people and us jamming along.
“I’m so excited to see what this team and cast will do with Eden’s wonderful work. And a massive shout-out to Stephanie and the Aberdeen Arts Centre team for championing new writing and musical theatre in Aberdeen and Scotland, giving these young people opportunities I wish I had growing up. I cannot wait for everyone to join in the fun in June.”
‘Tough industry’ says songwriter Eden who has created new show
Eden, who works as a songwriter for commercial music and also musical theatre, is really grateful for the opportunity.
“It’s a tough industry but things are coming along,” she said.
“I have many shows at various stages of development. But this will be the fourth show which will be performed in front of people.
“My first show – Pearl and Dagger – was a collaboration with a Japanese company. It was first performed in a theatre in 2019 but it was also performed in London’s Battersea Park during Covid.
“Then I had a Christmas show called The Last Nativity in 2021 – that was in London for a week. And I have another show coming at the end of March in London. It’s called Galaxy Train (a new musical based on the 1927 Japanese novel Night On The Galactic Railroad) and it’ll be performed at The Other Palace Studio.”
The New Kid – written by Eden Tredwell and performed by Castlegate Theatre Company – will be coming to Aberdeen Arts Centre in June. The exact dates are yet to be confirmed.