If you love fashion, (turn to the left) and know David Bowie’s 70’s style, there is one name that is synonymous with those wild and wacky outfits. If you know that blue suit from Life On Mars; if you know who Arnold Corns is; then you know there is only one Freddie Burretti. Freddie Burretti – The Man Who Sewed The World: The Musical is having its world premiere in Milton Keynes, where Freddie grew up. Jasmine Storm chats to Caz Tricks about directing this masterpiece of storytelling about this fashion icon.
JS: How do you feel to be working on something so unique?
CT: excited, engaged, thrilled, honoured. Lee and I have worked together before; we were in The Blues Collective and this is how we are running the show. We all have a different job but it’s a collective. Lee is the writer and producer; I am directing. He oversees the music side and throws ideas in. He made the film and now he has written the play. When Lee asked me to direct it, I said yes please!
JS: What is the story about?
CZ: It’s the story of Fred Burrett, who was born in North London, grew up in Bletchley, and made his own clothes and he danced. Dancing was his true passion, he started making clothes to look great on the dance floor. He was an amazing dancer. And he was gay in Bletchley in a time when it was not safe to be gay. So off he went to London, met up with a couple of people in the Sombrero club, changed his name a bit and that’s where the story starts for those who have heard of Freddie Burretti. But it’s a local Milton Keynes story.
JS: Why make it a musical?
CT: How can it not be! His story is an unbelievable lifting tale of fortitude, friendship and determination. Billy Elliot doesn’t even get close. Most fictitious musicals can’t get near the exploits of Freddie and remember his story is a true story about two beautiful people who collectively changed the world.
JS: Does that mean we are going to hear some David Bowie music?
CT: Yes, but only when the songs are 100% necessary to the narrative and plot. Put it this way, a China Girls doesn’t suddenly appear and shout Lets Dance! This isn’t an excuse just to use David Bowies music. Lee has worked really hard to give the play integrity and I think he’s achieved it; the songs he has chosen will really surprise people.
JS: Wow! Are you a David Bowie fan yourself?
CT: Is anybody with a soul inside them; you have to be?! If you love music then you have to be a David Bowie fan. Everyone’s got to love a David Bowie song. Everyone involved in the arts has to admire the artistic endeavour; the creativity; the exploration. And frankly the genius of that man. For people of my age, Bowie’s music is part of your history. Iconic moments when you hear a Bowie song and say ‘that was when…’
JS: I can’t argue with any of that! If Freddie was still with us, what do you think he would say about a musical being written about him?
CT: From what I know about Freddie, I think he’d love it. I think he’d enjoy the storytelling, and celebrating what he did as an artist. He was an artist, an amazing dancer, could speak many languages, but most of all, he was responsible for some of the most wonderful clothes.
JS: Freddie is famous for his outrageous outfits and design. What’s the wardrobe budget like?
CT: This production is for charity and therefore has very low costs. It’s a stripped back set. It’s all about the characters and the story telling. All monies raised will go to Willen Hospice. We have some sponsorship from Carters Rentals and Carters Residential. This story is allowing Freddie to shine. Its celebrating who is was and what he did and yes, we are going to call him a Bletchley boy - a Milton Keynes boy. It’s a local story. It’s about style, artistry and creativity. He is one of our own.
JS: If you had to give one reason why people should come and see this; what would you say?
CT: It’s a wonderful telling of a wonderful story with wonderful music.
Caz Tricks is a singer, actor and director. Trained in performance studies and drama in Wales, she has tutored and taught and directed students. She is involved in many community theatre projects, including the Stony panto and directing Shakespeare including a full production of The Merchant Of Venice. She runs the Stony Stratford Theatre Society and is also involved with Carabosse, a company involved with purely new writing. She does events and promotions, performance poetry and sings in a choir. She has also been involved with many local bands including the Blues Collective with Lee Scriven.
Burretti – The Man Who Sewed The World: The Musical is performing its world-wide premiere at The Chrysalis Theatre on the 16/17/18 May 2019
For tickets please call 0333 6663366 or online at www.Chrysalismk.co.uk