An Interview with Tom Arnold

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Argosy Arts are bringing a splash of gothica to this year’s Fringe. The Mumble were lucky enough to catch one of their members for a wee blether…


Hello Tom, so where you at, & where ya from, geographically speaking?
Tom: I’m from and in sunny Bournemouth at the moment. Last year I finished university in Exeter, which is where I first met everyone in this company. Since graduating we’ve all been scattered around the country, which is a logistical nightmare, but a lot of fun when we’re all together for rehearsals and performances.

Can you tell us about your musical training?
Tom: I’m actually a science graduate! I studied Natural Sciences for three years, but alongside that I took part in at least eight musical theatre productions, for the majority of which I was the Musical Director. In the end I spent a lot more time on those than I did on the degree, so that has been my training. You pick up a lot very quickly when you get to dissect some of the great scores that closely.

What are the keystones to a good musical, & then an amazing musical?
Tom: A good musical needs a compelling story. An amazing musical has a compelling story and songs that really compliment it. The songs don’t necessarily need to be great standalone songs, but they need to tie in seamlessly with the tone and mood of the story.

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Can you tell us about Argosy Arts?
Tom: The main aim of Argosy Arts is to tell stories within the Musical Theatre format that don’t necessarily seem like an obvious fit at first, but actually broaden the horizons of what a Musical can be. All a good story for a Musical needs is heightened emotional moments where a character can express their internal monologue. There are loads of fantastic stories that fit this mould within unusual genres – such as horror – and turning them into Musicals feels like a fresh way of telling them.

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You are bringing The House of Edgar to Edinburgh, can you tell us about it?
Tom: The House of Edgar is a fiction very loosely based on real events that occurred after the death of gothic icon Edgar Allan Poe. We follow Poe’s rival – a bitter poet named Rufus Griswold – as he claims Poe’s estate for his own with clearly malicious motives. The house however is having none of it, and things start to very quickly unravel from there. We first performed Edgar in Edinburgh two years ago. Audiences seemed to really dig it, so it’s great to be coming back with this new revamped version.

You have twenty seconds to sell the show to someone you are flyering in the streets of Edinburgh – what would you say?
Tom: A gothic musical based on the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe. It’s got horror. It’s got romance. It’s got heart in both the grizzly and endearing sense! And it’s all set to a score of folk songs…

What will you & Argosy Arts be doing after the Fringe?
Tom: A lot of that depends on the response to Fringe, but we definitely want to keep pushing this show and giving more opportunities to see it. How we do that is still to be finalised!


House of Edgar

Greenside @ Nicholson Square
Aug 3-11, 13-18, 20-25  (times vary)

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www.argosyarts.co.uk

 

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