The Three Little Pigs is a new Studio Cast Recording with music by George Stiles and the book and lyrics by Anthony Drewe - a powerful combination and a force to be reckoned with! It also features musical arrangements and orchestrations by Ruth Ling and music preparation by James Humphreys.
The musical is a short fifty-minute show designed for the entire family and is the first production in a “trilogy of trios”. The Three Little Pigs will be followed by Goldilocks And The Three Bears and Three Billy Goats Gruff; and if this recording is anything to go by, the successive ones will be superb.
Dubbed as a “very little, great big Broadway show”, Stiles and Drewe have certainly sprinkled their magic all over this one! Being a big fan of their previous work, it has their stamp all over it whilst still creating something completely original. New musicals are very sought after amongst the theatre community, although unfortunately some do not get the longevity they deserve. However, I genuinely believe this one has great staying power as it has such broad appeal.
This recording features a vast array of talent. Featuring Alison Jiear as Mother Pig, Lewis Barnshaw as Cha, Amy Lennox as Siu, Gareth Gates as Bao and Clive Rowe as the Big Bad Wolf. The Three Little Pigs (Cha, Sui and Bao) are affectionately named after Stiles & Drewe’s favourite barbecued pork dim sum; no doubt being influenced by the place that first commissioned the show, the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s Little Company.
Right from the outset, the overture itself encompasses a fairytale and is very visual even to listen to (if that makes sense!) This makes it fantastic for children with an imagination. ‘One, Two, Three Little Pigs’ (the first lyrical number) is the best track on the recording in my opinion; incredibly catchy and surprisingly not overcomplicated. The production by SimG Records is spot on as it is not overdone.
About half way through the recording, I felt that some tracks were a little same-y but this said, I cannot fault any of the individual numbers themselves. The Studio Cast work brilliantly well together in harmony and individually. Alison Jiear really shines during ‘A Real Pig Sty’ - it’s a feast for the ears and I wish I could have heard more of her throughout. Gareth Gates has proven over the past few years that he has a very good voice for musical theatre and he has some great numbers to showcase this, particularly during ‘ A Little House’ - he just lacks power on occasion. Amy Lennox and Lewis Barnshaw provide wonderful support with stunning vocals, notably the former - a future star right there! And where to start with Clive Rowe...he gives an exceptional turn during ‘A Bit Misunderstood’ and ‘I’ll Huff And I’ll Puff’. His deep, rich, silky vocals could be listened to all day.
Stiles & Drewe provide two bonus tracks on the recording which are great to hear in a raw state. It’s always a nice touch to hear them singing along to the numbers themselves.
Overall, a real triumph and I cannot wait for the other pieces of the trio. Magic.
Photo: SimG Productions