Wapping council candidates express Musical Theatre Preferences

Last night on Twitter, we asked those local council candidates what their favourite musical. We’re in the fortunate position to ask Paul St Paul Principal of ‘Little Doris’ Day School for Boys and Musical Director of the Watney Red Barrels (choral society for portly men with a lefty disposition in Wapping and Shadwell) for his opinion on the choices.

Pootling Around: Paul, we’ve got some interesting choices, what do you make of them?
Paul St Paul: It’s fantastic, I don’t think they could have chosen more political musicals!
PA: Surely Evita, Les Mis, Chess or Songs in the Key of John Major* have much stronger political themes?
PSP: No, those musicals have no political context whatsoever Poodle!
PA: Pootle.
PSP: What?
PA: Pootle, not poodle. It’s a verb meaning to move or travel in a leisurely manner.
PSP: That’s what I said, ‘poodle’. Don’t you think Poodle that we’re like two peas in a pod, kindred spirits, soul mates…
PA: I like to think of you as a repressed dysfunctional personality. Anway, let’s hear the tortured analysis.

Wapping Conservatives (Julia Dockerill): Sound of Music

So, what can I say. Classic.

Set in the context of the impending Anchluss of Austria or something, it’s a love story set against a regime that the Captain and Maria aren’t so hot about.

So much political imagery. When Maria stops the Captain blowing his whistle, it’s so like totally saying “no more dog whistle politics” because Maria is like “I don’t know what that means but you keep saying it and whatever it is it’s probably annoying for the kids”.

In the song ‘Favourite Things’, it’s a bit like that tweet Ted Jeory did asking people to tweet positive things about Tower Hamlets – lots of favourite things but mainly ducklings, but only as a counterpoint to the problems we face collectively.

Finally as two new contenders, Climb Every Mountain is song declaring that they aren’t like frightened of the challenges.

Robbie Scott, Labour: The Book of Mormon

So, what can I say. Classic.

Robbie’s like this fresh new contender and that’s what this choice says: “I’m the new kid on the block” but underneath that, people who like musicals are like, you know what, Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been doing musicals for like 20 years, since Cannibal but you just didn’t realise. What I’m saying is that this is very much Robbie coming of age, and stepping upto the plate.

But like seriously, the musical spreads the word that we might not share the same or any religious views with others, but that those views can do good in the world. We just have to hope that Robbie doesn’t mix up his manifesto with his science fiction…ha ha ha [PA: self indulgent joke for those who have paid to see Book of Mormon, or just read the plot summary on Wikipedia].

Grenville Mills, UKIP: Oklahoma!

So, what can I say. Classic.

Some people think this is just about cowboys, but it’s just so much more and Grenville has picked a winner. This is totes about community harmony and developing a sense of identity. In the musical, it’s like there are farmers and cowboys and they can’t get on, there’s the lyric that sums up Tower Hamlets ‘One man likes to push a plough, the other likes to chase a cow,  But that’s no reason why they cain’t be friends.’

The musical is also like totally revolutionary, in that it’s like so the first Broadway musical to use dialect and it’s saying, it don’t matter how you talk, where you come from, just get on with it and do jazz hands.

The only thing is like muchos surprising is the planned independence for Wapping or Tower Hamlets that is promised. What votes will be asking is…just which union…not the European Union?!?! Whatever, is coming, we should just be friends though!

And when this territory is a state
An’ joins the Union just like all the others
The farmer, the cowman, and the merchant
Must all behave theirselves and act like brothers

Denise Jones, Labour: West Side Story

So, what can I say. Classic.

This is a message to the votes but also the party faithful. So, like there was this guy ‘Leonard Bernstein’ or whatever and this other guy ‘Arthur Laurents’ and both had been around for like, a while, and Laurents had like written the story, and Bernstein was like “I’m just about the music, I need another member on the team”, so they got this young fella, Robbie Scott, I mean, Stephen Sodheim to come in and join the party.

Like, some people might say, “oh it’s about two communities in one city and there’s conflict but it’s resolved in the end”. I say “no!”, like don’t read so much into things this is a musical about the conflict between two types of transport: river (sharks) and planes (jets), what Denise is trying to say is that you can have both, but don’t put an airport on the river because that might inconvenience people.

Alternatively, some people could be controversial and say it’s Denise expressing support for KEMP and even if the park is mercilessly ripped apart, we’ll be waiting for it.

There’s a place for us,
 Somewhere a place for us.
 Peace and quiet and open air
 Wait for us
 There’s a time for us,
 Some day a time for us,
 Time together with time spare,
 Time to learn, time to care,
 Some day!
 We’ll find a new way of living,
 We’ll find a way of forgiving
 Somewhere . . .

Thank you for Paul St. Paul for penning this guest post. We should make clear that this is entirely his pseudo-psycho-analysis and no individual’s musical choices should be interpreted in any other way than in expressing a preference for some examples of popular culture. However, we thank the candidates for sharing their opinions on something that PA really enjoys.

*Sadly at this point a still unproduced play written by a local blogger.

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