Composer . Writer . Cabaret Performer

Mark Bunyan Composer . Writer . Cabaret Performer

Musical theatre writing:

Being Colonel Barker
Rose Collis' book cover
Rose Collis' book cover

I first read my friend Rose Collis’s book, Colonel Barker’s Monstrous Regiment, when it was published by Virago in 2001.

Initially it didn’t strike me as suitable for musical theatre but a subsequent evening with Rose, during the run of Achilles in Heels, gave me a complete different perspective on this true story of a woman who lived most of her life as a man from the 1920s onwards.

Barker had seven different personas during her/his life and the musical version has each of them played by a different

actor; when she’s being a woman, she’s played by a man and vice versa – except for the point where she’s the successful title character and is played by a man.

After three very successful workshop sessions at the Royal Academy of Music, the score is now completed and the show is actively looking for production.

One of the songs, Paris, was very successfully showcased at Iris Theatre’s Workin’ Progress evening in March 2011, beautifully sung by Shimi Goodman, and you can hear it on YouTube. Another song, The Fellowship of Mons was heard at the Snappy Title evening at the Pheasantry in February 2016, sung by Martin Neely and Jordan Langford

Watch Paris from Being Colonel Barker on YouTube: