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Music Review

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Goldilocks And The Three Bears (Studio Cast Recording)


Music: George Stiles
Book and Lyrics: Anthony Drewe
Performed by: Leanne Jones, David Bedella, James Gillan, Amy Lennox and Michael Xavier
Label: SimG Records
RRP: £9.99
Release Date: 29 June 2015

When it comes to musicals, there are as many subjects to be found as situations in real life. There’s musicals on Tony Blair, Cricket, Siamese Twins, and not forgetting a Tit Factory, belonging to Molly Wobbly. But one popular source of material for composers has always been the world of Fairy Tales. I’m pretty sure every fairy tale has at least one musical based on it, and as the recent success of Into The Woods shows, they are accessible and popular.

SimG Records, supporters of new British songwriters, are the next to the fore with a a fairy tale inspired recording - the studio cast recording of the latest musical from the pens of Olivier Award-winning musical theatre creatives, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (Soho Cinders, Betty Blue Eyes, Mary Poppins, Honk!). Based on the universally famous fairy tale, Goldilocks And The Three Bears is a short family-friendly musical which is the second to be completed in what Stiles and Drewe describe as a “trilogy of trios” (the companion pieces are the previously released The Three Little Pigs and The Three Billy Goats Gruff to follow in 2016).

With a score filled with trademark Stiles & Drewe tuneful Goldilocks And The Three Bears was commissioned by the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s Little Company and the original production was directed by Anthony Drewe. The show reminds children not to fiddle with the belongings of others as well as introducing the idea of looking after the environment around them.

For the recording, Stiles & Drewe have assembled a stellar West End cast: Olivier winner Leanne Jones (Hairspray, Molly Wobbly) as the porridge-perfectionist Mother Bear, Olivier winner David Bedella (The Producers, In The Heights) and Olivier nominee James Gillan (Little Shop, Peter Pan) as our Father and Baby Bears, Amy Lennox (Kinky Boots, Soho Cinders) as the feisty Goldilocks and two-time Olivier nominee Michael Xavier (Assassins, The Pajama Game) as Mr Locks, our lumberjack with a heart. Musical arrangements and orchestrations are by Ruth Ling and vocal arrangements are by Stiles himself.

I always look forward to SimG releases, as I think I’ve said before, as it’s always quality - from the material, the packaging and not least the recording quality. Here, all are top notch. I have been a fan of Stiles and Drew for a long time, ever since I first saw their also fairy tale based Honk! at the National Theatre in London. They have such a knack of writing songs that are memorable, that you can’t help humming them from the first time you hear them. This recording is no exception - all catchy, funny, and with some great performances. I particularly liked ‘Just Because I’m A Girl’, which had a resemblance to ‘You Shall Go To The Ball’ from Soho Cinders. The recording is a great listen, and almost stays away from anything relating to a pantomime or kids story. I say almost. I’m a tad confused why it is there, as its style (spoken story over music) halts the flow of the recording somewhat. I think this could have been worked better (there’s a nice song at the end of it, which I’m sure could have been restyled and engineered to tell the same story as the spoken words).

But a great listen nonetheless, and I look forward to part 3! And if you want to see part one (The Three Little Pigs) being performed live, it’s at the Palace Theatre in London this summer [2015] (


Ian Gude