Going To Space: Supertown

Supertown, a town beset by supervillains and home to superheroes. Do you need super powers to be a superhero? Broadway Baby finds out.

However their quest lands them embroiled in a plot far darker than they’d imagined, and soon they’re fighting to protect the safety and freedom of everyone in Supertown, and in doing so, prove that you don’t need Superpowers to be a hero!

Tell us about your show

Supertown is a brand new comedy musical, set in ‘Supertown’, a town full of singing Superheroes! The people of Supertown are protected on a daily basis from ruthless and evil supervillains, by brave and powerful superheroes, who fight for them day-in and day-out to ensure that they’re all safe and free. But not everyone in Supertown is happy about that. For Ste, these Superheroes are just an annoyingly arrogant bunch of people who are ruining his chance for Romance!

Ste’s contempt for superheroes, and in particular the town’s heartthrob ‘Thunderman’, leads to an unlikely teaming up between him and Zapper – the worst hero in town, to remove Thunderman from his pedestal. However their quest lands them embroiled in a plot far darker than they’d imagined, and soon they’re fighting to protect the safety and freedom of everyone in Supertown, and in doing so, prove that you don’t need Superpowers to be a hero!

Written by Leeds based duo James Sidgwick and Robert Sanders the show was premiered in Leeds Carriage works Theatre in September 2014.

Why did you decide to take your show to Space UK this year?

The venue is in an ideal location, and the staff were so friendly and helpful when we were making enquires we knew that we had found the Edinburgh home of ‘Supertown’. SpaceUK has been home to some fantastic shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and we are ‘Super’ excited to be a part of this year’s programme.

Have you brought a show to the festival before?

This is the first time that an original Sidgwick & Sanders show is performed at the fringe but we are confident that it won’t be the last. Many members of the production team and cast have performed at the fringe before in other companies but we are excited to travel this road together.

What makes your show unique amongst the thousands of others at the festival?

Supertown is a funny, feel good musical full of catchy tunes, hilarious characters and with an up-beat positive message (plus lots of superheroes in spandex). This show really proves you don’t need superpowers to be a hero so if you want to see a show this year that leaves you feeling energized and super then Supertown is for you.

What has been the biggest challenge in getting your show ready for Edinburgh?

When Supertown was premiered in September 2014 the show was just over two hours long. We then went on to perform at the NODA Northeast annual conference with a show cut down to just 1 hour. It was really tough to cut the show as we lost some musical numbers and characters that the crowds really loved from the original show. With the Edinburgh show we are running to 1.25 hrs so we have managed to put some of the musical numbers back in that we just couldn’t fit into the NODA performance and the cast are really excited to see their return.

We have had to raise a lot of money to bring the show to the fringe this year and so the cast have all taken on a ‘Super challenge’ as a team of 15 we have pledged to run, swim or walk to the 350Km distance from The Carriage Works Theatre in Leeds (where Supertown staged its World Premier) to TheSpaceUK Venue 45 in Edinburgh over two weeks. The money raised will be split evenly between our fringe fund and the charity Help The Heroes who provide amazing support for the real heroes of this country. We are really excited that this ambitious undertaking will not only help us get our show to Edinburgh but also help support them in their work.

How did you create your show?

The show was first conceived by the book writer and lyricist James Sidgwick, who then spoke to the composer Robert Sanders about the idea. Robert was immediately enthusiastic about getting it off the ground, and the pair started working tirelessly for months to get the show fully written, and a full audio demo produced.

They then pitched their idea to the amateur theatre society LIDOS in Leeds, who snapped it up and decided to stage the premiere.

Since then, the show has undergone some changes, not just from the aforementioned cuts for time purposes, but also some tweaks have been made just from seeing the audience reaction to it, but in essence it remains the same.

Many of the Edinburgh cast are the same LIDOS members who originated the roles in Leeds, though there are some new interpretations from some new cast members too. Including writer / director James Sidgwick stepping into one of the roles in the show! LIDOS choreographers Donna Wells and Emma Tempest have returned to re-set the numbers for the different performance space / cast size, and many of the original LIDOS costumes are being used again too.

The production is truly the result of a massive team effort. James and Robert’s original writing has been brought to life by talented performers, and a fantastic production team, and while the fringe production is no longer a ‘LIDOS’ responsibility, the influence that LIDOS and its members have had upon Supertown’s success is undeniable.

If your show does well in Edinburgh, what do you want to do with it next?

As it’s James and Rob’s debut musical, they have always been very focused on the ‘present’ with regards to Supertown, careful not to look too far into the future, and neglect the ‘here and now’.

When they first started writing Supertown, their ambition was to finish writing it, and have a finished product that they were proud to put their name on. When LIDOS liked what they’d done so much that they decided to stage the musical, their ambition was to stage it well, and provide LIDOS’s audiences with a great evening’s entertainment. When standing ovations came every night from overwhelmingly appreciative audiences, and great reviews started pouring in, their ambition became to raise the money to take the production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now that we’re booked in, their focus is all about making the show as good as it can possibly be for the Fringe.

As this will be technically the third production of Supertown, all three of which will have had James and Rob at the helm, they would love to see the material start to get picked up by other production teams who want to produce the show. But that said, all of the cast and team working on the fringe production are so enthusiastic about the production, that we’d snap up any opportunity to perform / produce / be involved with Supertown’s future.

In short, James and Rob would be happy just to know that Supertown has a future. As a big production with a young cast and colourful entertaining musical numbers, it lends itself well to the amateur theatre market, but a professional run would be an amazing thing to work towards too.

Production Company: Sidgwick & Sanders

Venue: theSpace @venue45

Dates: 17th – 29th August (Not including Sunday 23rd)

Times: 15:55 – 17:20 (1hr 25)

Twitter Handle: @SupertownShow 

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