SUPERNOVAS FOR SUPER LONERS
EVER HAD MENTAL HEALTH SO POOR THAT YOU CAUSED THE APOCALYPSE?
That’s what happens to Dylan - an aspiring writer who feels totally alone and inconsequential in the suffocatingly small-town Swansea. After a night out gone awry on Wind Street, an unexpected intervention from a stranger sets events in motion that threaten to end in total catastrophe as fiction and reality begin to hurtle into one another.
Supernovas for Super Loners is a new musical that explores the links between societal inequality and the mental health crisis through a Welsh lens. Drawing influence from folk and pop, Supernovas is a grand yet intimate story about connection and belonging.
Supernovas for Super Loners has an anti-heirachical heart: it weaves seamlessly between song and speech, and the music flows constantly underneath, forming a conduit between two worlds. What is spoken is just as important as what is sung, as what becomes too heavy and paralysing to say in the former finds a truthful expression in the latter. The ensemble nature of the cast and musicians builds the characters' fantasies and realities. Worlds upon worlds collide in a way that can only be expressed in this way, that gives a voice to the unsayable.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR...
Supernovas starts life as Heartbeat, produced by Leading Light Collective and in partnership with MIND as part of the Bath Fringe Festival.
Undergoing major rewrites, Supernovas showcases a song at Leading Light Collective’s Network ’n’ Chill.
Starting to take a clear shape thanks to work done during lockdown, Ryan and Benji hold a Zoom reading of the first act.
Four songs are filmed at the Bread & Roses Theatre as part of digital festival Viable, produced by Gwenan Bain.
Thanks to funding from Critical Moment Theatre and support from New Diorama Broadgate, we were able to host 2 days of R&D for Supernovas for Super Loners.
At New Diorama Broadgate and Theatre Deli, we worked with an absolute dream team to workshop the material, and ascertain whether the show has legs.
We discovered that it absolutely does, and that it is ready to progress to the next step.
THE DREAM TEAM
What Does it Sound Like?
Musical director Griffin Jenkins praised getting to work with ‘such a strong concept and realised score’ in the R&D, noting how the mix of ‘contemporary musical theatre and heartlands folk’ was resonant, relevant, and brimming with potential.
Listen for yourself with this clip of Heartbeat, filmed at the Bread & Roses Theatre as part of Viable, in which Dylan and Emily’s feelings for each other spill over and they try to navigate their emotions.
Want to Hear More?
Here are some selected demos (all sung by Ryan Mellish, alas) to give a wider view of the score:
Beyond the Shadow of the Moon
Dylan opens up about the things that matter to him to Alice.
Wind Street Fairytale
Jack convinces Dylan to come out drinking with him and Blake,
Years of resentment spill over between Emily and Matt as the two siblings are reunited.
WHAT MIGHT IT LOOK LIKE?
“Essentially designed for a mid scale venue, the set features a selection of white cubes, or a white cube like wall. It’s an attempt to bridge the gap between the pixels of videos games and the world of Minecraft etc, whilst also creating a domestic location to experiment with when we are in Dylan’s bedroom. I think the strong visual game aesthetic is really useful to us, and to be able to enforce this sense of animation and computer imagery should drive the design concept throughout.”
- Cory Shipp
“From the off it felt important to experiment with explosion and implosion. Ideally, we would experiment with projection mapping the bedroom onto these cubes, and then physically blow them apart to open the space out into other locations - we could also then adapt these shapes and spaces for further locations.”
- Cory Shipp
Our work so far has demonstrated that Supernovas for Super Loners is ready for an audience.
We believe the show has a number of profound and beautiful things to say about compassion, connection, Welsh identity, escapism, and mental health and that it says them in gripping and provocative ways.
The show has an exciting dramaturgical foundation, and now needs a greater level of financial support to progress on its journey.
We believe the next steps could entail a concept album, workshops, or even a small-to-mid scale production, but we are open to starting conversations around all possibilities.
DIOLCH YN FAWR