Plans for a theatre project in 2021

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Nickname
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Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#1 Post by Nickname » Wed 26 Feb 2020, 8:35 pm

Ne il& Chris from the @petshopboys, they working on their new piece of theatre project(with speaking,singing,dancing. They working with Iavan Putrov(producer)with whom they did the ballet the most incredible thing.Neil from the @petshopboys
That will be probably 2021

Neil Tennant:
"We do like doing theatrical projects and it's something we always wanted to do, even going back to the 1980s"

Chris Lowe:
"That could be quite interesting because we don't know what it is. we can't really define it , expcept it's a piece of theatre with speaking singing and dancing."

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leesmapman
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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#2 Post by leesmapman » Wed 26 Feb 2020, 8:42 pm

A source would be nice.

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gx2066
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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#3 Post by gx2066 » Wed 26 Feb 2020, 9:21 pm

I always expect speaking or singing or dancing when I go to the theatre.

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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#4 Post by ArtHist » Wed 26 Feb 2020, 9:27 pm

gx2066 wrote:
Wed 26 Feb 2020, 9:21 pm
I always expect speaking or singing or dancing when I go to the theatre.
Speaking through a performance. :wink:

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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#5 Post by Sandy Shaw » Wed 26 Feb 2020, 9:52 pm

Maybe nickname is Ivan....
What's for supper?

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daveid
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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#6 Post by daveid » Wed 26 Feb 2020, 11:45 pm

So in summary...

Neil might be a bit Scottish and there is no evidence that there might be a speaking/singing/dancing thing next year.


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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#8 Post by Pod » Thu 27 Feb 2020, 12:47 am

Pet Shop Boys present:

MACBETH

Set in a club in 1986 in Stirling...
Just for the sake of it, make sure you're always frowning. :|
It shows the world that you've got substance and depth.

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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#9 Post by Sage » Thu 27 Feb 2020, 9:17 am

leesmapman wrote:
Thu 27 Feb 2020, 12:35 am
Probably from this magazine:
https://www.pressreader.com/australia/d ... 9372970959
Thanks for sharing.
I'm disappointed Neil doesn't know about the Abba song Dreamworld.
After seeing how he went to the Abba museum, and has made other references to Abba I was imagining he was a fan like me.
Dreamworld is a lovely song, though personally I didn't make the connection with the song and the tour until this interview.
They're aware of the Abbatar tour though so they're in the loop I suppose.

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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#10 Post by Scottydog » Thu 27 Feb 2020, 10:47 am

Sage wrote:
Thu 27 Feb 2020, 9:17 am
leesmapman wrote:
Thu 27 Feb 2020, 12:35 am
Probably from this magazine:
https://www.pressreader.com/australia/d ... 9372970959
Thanks for sharing.
I'm disappointed Neil doesn't know about the Abba song Dreamworld.
After seeing how he went to the Abba museum, and has made other references to Abba I was imagining he was a fan like me.
Dreamworld is a lovely song, though personally I didn't make the connection with the song and the tour until this interview.
They're aware of the Abbatar tour though so they're in the loop I suppose.
I wondered if they were aware of ABBA’s Dreamworld. A brilliant song that was buried away for far too long. I guess you need to be more than just a casual fan to be aware of it though.
Interesting that they say Decide is a ‘pulsating poke at Brexit’. Is that official?
If I thought what you’d think I wouldn’t even be here.

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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#11 Post by Sage » Thu 27 Feb 2020, 11:38 am

Scottydog wrote:
Thu 27 Feb 2020, 10:47 am
Sage wrote:
Thu 27 Feb 2020, 9:17 am
leesmapman wrote:
Thu 27 Feb 2020, 12:35 am
Probably from this magazine:
https://www.pressreader.com/australia/d ... 9372970959
Thanks for sharing.
I'm disappointed Neil doesn't know about the Abba song Dreamworld.
After seeing how he went to the Abba museum, and has made other references to Abba I was imagining he was a fan like me.
Dreamworld is a lovely song, though personally I didn't make the connection with the song and the tour until this interview.
They're aware of the Abbatar tour though so they're in the loop I suppose.
I wondered if they were aware of ABBA’s Dreamworld. A brilliant song that was buried away for far too long. I guess you need to be more than just a casual fan to be aware of it though.
Interesting that they say Decide is a ‘pulsating poke at Brexit’. Is that official?
That caught my eye too, but it seems to be from the editorial rather than the interview.
There's been some speculation...

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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#12 Post by psbfannyc » Thu 27 Feb 2020, 11:39 am

Nickname wrote:
Wed 26 Feb 2020, 8:35 pm
Ne il& Chris from the @petshopboys, they working on their new piece of theatre project(with speaking,singing,dancing. They working with Iavan Putrov(producer)with whom they did the ballet the most incredible thing.Neil from the @petshopboys
That will be probably 2021

Neil Tennant:
"We do like doing theatrical projects and it's something we always wanted to do, even going back to the 1980s"

Chris Lowe:
"That could be quite interesting because we don't know what it is. we can't really define it , expcept it's a piece of theatre with speaking singing and dancing."
VERY VERY exciting!

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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#13 Post by Future Lover » Thu 27 Feb 2020, 11:57 am

Well Brexit is to be poked anyway, like the corpse it is.

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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#14 Post by daveid » Thu 27 Feb 2020, 12:57 pm

Could someone kindly cut and paste the article as it just won't open for me. Thanks

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Re: Plans for a theatre project in 2021

#15 Post by psbfannyc » Thu 27 Feb 2020, 1:07 pm

PET SHOP BOYS
Over the last 35 years, Pet Shop Boys have crafted some of the greatest pop music of all time, most of it with a discernible gay sensibility. Neil and Chris sat down together in London with DNA to chat about coming out, cruising, crusading for Alan Turing

DNA Magazine1 Feb 2020Feature by Marc Andrews Photography by Phil Fisk

Neil and Chris sat down together with Marc Andrews to chat about coming out, cruising, and their cool new album, an electronic valentine to the city of Berlin called Hotspot.

Only just released in late January this year, Hotspot is the Pet Shop Boys’ sexy, sweet and quite splendid 14th album. Along with fellow gay icons Kylie Minogue and Madonna (who also both issued their 14th studio albums recently), Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are true pop survivors of the

’80s. So many of the big pop names of the era (Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and George Michael, to name but four) are no longer with us.

Hotspot is the third album in what has been a trilogy produced by Stuart Price, still remembered fondly for his glossy work on Madonna’s Confessions On A Dance Floor.

This final missive is undeniably a love letter to Berlin, where most of the ten tracks were recorded. The opener, Will O The Wisp is classic Pet Shop Boys electro-disco with a shimmering 2020 sheen and coyly risqué lyrics about cruising the German capital, possibly the gayest city in the world.

Elsewhere on the album, Years And Years vocalist Olly Alexander helps out on Dreamland, the uplifting first single. Then there’s You Are The One, a romantic ballad devoted to the German capital; and a nod at the seedier city underbelly on Monkey Business (“where we all cross the line”).

Initially, Neil and Chris thought of giving the album a German title.

“We wanted a German word that everyone knew in English and one day it occurred to me that Berlin was the hotspot of the Cold War,” says Neil. “Also, ‘hotspot’ is an internet thing. And also, when I was a kid, it was an old-fashioned term for a popular club, or something where you’d listen to the latest jazz, or something. It just floated to the top and stayed there.”

Proving they’ve lost none of their quirky sense of humour, the day after the UK election, PSB released the album’s second single, the soft rock anomaly, Burning The Heather featuring a bonus track, Decide a pulsating poke at Brexit.

To forget politics and accompany the release of Hotspot, however, the duo is sailing off on a massive world tour later this year, dubbed Dreamworld, to play their greatest hits and some of their wunderbar new Germanicinspired tunes, too.

Besides their consistent musical output and occasional touring, the PSB have found a neat, if not profitable and critically acclaimed sideline in the theatre world. In September last year, the stage version of the film My Beautiful Laundrette opened in the UK featuring seven

new Pet Shop Boys pieces, plus several of their recordings from the 1980s.

Around the same time, a one-woman show Musik opened in Edinburgh, featuring actress Frances Barber reprising and expanding upon her role from their 2001 musical, Closer To Heaven in a further collaboration between writer Jonathan Harvey and Pet Shop Boys. It successfully moved to London in September and returns again this year.

Also returning last year to London was a new revival, with plot changes, of Closer To Heaven. “It’s a period drama,” Chris jokes.

“This show is now 19 years old,” Neil declares, “but all of its attitudes make more sense now.”

In late 2018, Neil also found time to publish a book called One Hundred Lyrics And A Poem which, he claims, “is kind of like an autobiography. Surprisingly, I think it’s quite revealing. More so than I normally would be.”

PSB’s first hit was 1985’s West End Girls. It was nothing less than a pop masterpiece and remains their most-heard work to date. It’s a song that, for many people, is intrinsically linked to the intangible allure of London.

At the time, Neil had just given up his job as a journalist on the pop bible Smash Hits to chase his dream of pop stardom. Sure enough, Pet Shop Boys became one of the biggest names in the music world. Then, when Neil officially came out in 1994, they became true LGBT icons. Chris, incidentally, has never officially come out, refusing to do so during an interview for DNA some 16 years ago. (He did, however, make a cameo in Neighbours in 1994 which possibly grants him camp status instead!)

Having interviewed both Neil and Chris at various times on the phone over the years, finally getting to meet them in person in London at their swish record company offices was something of a personal thrill. I brought along a copy of the book I co-authored, Pop Life, the inside story of Smash Hits magazine in Australia, plus insider info on my time working on the UK edition during the Kylie/Jason era (after Neil had long left). Neil seemed intrigued and quietly delighted to receive a copy.

In person Neil, now 65, and Chris, just turned 60, are affable, knowledgeable and behave like – cover your ears! – an older gay couple. Neil is the chattier one, but Chris likes delivering the punchlines. They finish each other’s sentences. They tease and bicker with each other playfully. They keep an apartment in Berlin. Friends, lovers, bandmates? Whatever it is, Neil and Chris – aka Pet Shop Boys – have been making beautiful music with each other for four decades now with no hint of abatement.

Oh, and selfies are verboten. “We don’t do photos,” they chided me coolly when I asked politely. Very Pet Shop Boys.

Interview begins over…

The lyric was inspired by Christopher Isherwood, who went back to Berlin after the war and bumped into one of his old boyfriends.

DNA: Is Hotspot a valentine to Berlin? Neil: We decided Hotspot would be our Berlin album. It’s the third one in the trilogy with [producer] Stuart Price. The first one, Electric, was a total dance album and the second one, Super, was pop. On this one, some of the songs mentioned Berlin, so we thought we should record it in Hansa Studio in Berlin and try and get more of a Berlin sound, if such a thing exists. Hansa is famous for David Bowie and U2 and back in the day the studio was right beside the Berlin Wall. We spent a lot of time trying to work out if you could have seen The Wall from the studio.

Chris: The jury’s out on that. [Laughs].

What’s the appeal of Berlin for you?

Neil: We’ve spent quite a bit of time in Berlin over the last ten years. We have an apartment there. Are you likely to make more records with Stuart Price?

Neil: Originally, we planned to do more, then decided to just make it three. Stuart likes working like that. He likes structure. All three albums are very different. This one sounds not as bright as the other two and is a much more nuanced production. We’re actually putting out a double album version with the instrumental versions, which sound great. For the three albums with Stuart we wanted to be electronic purists, which we pretty much have maintained on this album, although there is a guitar on one track.

Will O The Wisp, which opens the album, seems to be an ode to Berlin cruising.

Neil: It’s not quite cruising, but it has got very gay lyrics. The idea for the lyric came from the writer Christopher Isherwood. He came back to Berlin after the war and bumped into one of his old boyfriends. I imagined Christopher Isherwood on the U-Bahn [Berlin underground] and it’s his interior monologue about that whole thing. We don’t know whether they meet or not. At the same time, it’s taking place today on the U1, which goes to Warschauer Strasse where there are a lot of clubs and venues.

Chris: The original lyric was that the U2 is such a party train, but we got the wrong train. [Laughs]. We had to re-record it, which was really annoying because we also liked the fact it sounded like the band U2.

When you’re a gay man of a certain generation you miss the underground feel about being gay…

How did you hook up with Years And Years’ Olly Alexander?

Neil: Our manager had a meeting with their record label and they liked the idea of us writing with Olly. He came down to our studio in London and it was planned to be for their second album. He had just been to Margate to a funfair called Dreamland, which I had never heard of, and we thought it was a good title for a song.

Did you write more than just the one song together?

Neil: No, that’s it.

Chris: It was a lot of fun working with him. Neil: He has a wonderful voice and also a different melodic sensibility to us. That’s good because he sings things I wouldn’t.

Having two gay men singing Dreamland is effectively a gay duet, right?

Neil: It could be. I’ve sung a song with Elton John before though and he’s not gay that I’m aware of. [Both laugh]. I’ve sung with Rufus Wainwright, too.

Chris: Is there a gay man you haven’t done a duet with?

Neil: [Chuckles] I’m the go-to gay duet du jour. I also did Robbie Williams. Ah, no, Robbie did a gay duet with Rufus and what a good record it is [Swings Both Ways, from 2013].

Your upcoming world tour is called Dreamworld. Is it based on the obscure ABBA song of the same name that perhaps Stuart Price dug up, as he did for Madonna on Hung Up?

Chris: There’s an ABBA song called Dreamworld?

Neil: I didn’t know about that until you told us. [Pauses for a moment and then speaking confidentially]… although we don’t really need to talk about it but on Madonna’s Confessions On A Dance Floor there’s a song where Stuart sampled West End Girls.

Besides your pop career, you’ve got a nice parallel career in the theatre now, too. Neil: This year it has just worked out like that. We did the show Musik with Frances Barber, which was a spin-off from Closer To Heaven.

It’s great writing songs in character about her life, which includes her character going to Munich in 1978 to record a disco record called Ich Bin Musik. Then we were asked by [author] Hanif Kureishi to do the music for the play version of My Beautiful Laundrette. That was good because it has Indian-Pakistani sounds, which we had never used before. Then Closer To Heaven came back and all three were happening simultaneously in London.

Are we ever likely to see a musical featuring all the Pet Shop Boys hits?

Neil: We have always resisted doing the backcatalogue musical.

Chris: We’re not really interested in it.

Neil: If someone came along with a brilliant idea…

Chris: We are working on something new, though.

Neil: It will be with [dancer/producer] Ivan Putrov with whom we did the ballet The Most Incredible Thing.

Chris: That could be quite interesting because we don’t know what it is. We can’t really define it, except it’s a piece of theatre with speaking, singing and dancing.

Neil: That will probably be 2021. We do like doing theatrical projects and it’s something we always wanted to do, even going back to the 1980s.

Chris: We like working with the theatre teams and the collaborative qualities of it.

Neil: We’ve also had theatre teams working on our tours as well. We’re going to have to get a new one though for this one as [stage designer/ artist] Es Devlin, who has done our last four shows, is now doing Cirque De Soleil.

She’s also in charge of the upcoming ABBA avatars tour, too, right?

Neil: Yes. Es had a meeting with all four members of ABBA for the holograms.

Chris: What’s happening with it then? Do you need ABBA if you have Björn Again? There are two new songs, aren’t there? Björn Again will be straight onto those.

Neil: Do you want to go and see holograms? You can’t see them from the side. People have approached us about it, but it never seemed to happen. Take That did it a lot time ago when Robbie appeared as a hologram.

Let’s talk about Neil’s role in getting [gay math genius] Alan Turing his official pardon. Neil: In 2012, Boris Johnson, who was Mayor of London at the time, phoned our manager to ask us to perform at the Athlete’s Parade, the day after the Olympics finished. Then we got a call from David Cameron, the Prime Minister at the time, about it. When we did it, I told them it would be an amazing thing in Alan Turing’s centenary year if he was to be pardoned. [He finally was a year later in 2013]. It then raised the issue – Why should Alan Turing be the exception?

Why couldn’t all the British gay men with a criminal record for homosexuality be pardoned?

Neil: Yes. The number of people’s lives ruined by being arrested in public toilets or whatever is shocking. There were suicides, terror and people have criminal records, which should be wiped. It’s not really being pardoned because being pardoned says you’ve done something you should be guilty of and we’ll let you off.

Really it should be the gay men pardoning the government.

It’s also 25 years now, Neil, since you came out in a magazine.

Neil: 1994.

When you look back on that now…

Neil: …it’s always with a sense of shame! [Smirking and quoting a line from Pet Shop Boys’ It’s A Sin. Chris giggles.] I always thought it shouldn’t really matter. The situation should be that people’s sexuality is what it is and people shouldn’t have to define their sexuality. That’s quite a modern point of view, whereas in the 1980s it seemed quite closety to say that. It’s weird defining yourself completely by your sexuality. Before the notion of homosexuality was invented in the 1880s men just had sex with men, which is a bit sexier. We are getting to that situation now and the coming-out thing was all part of that journey. It was a good thing to do, but it immediately typecast the Pet Shop Boys, as I knew it would.

How so?

Neil: As a “gay group”. For example, if Pet Shop Boys’ music is used in a film, in 90 per cent of the cases it will be used to establish that the film is now in a gay environment and therefore they are now listening to Pet Shop Boys. I find that a bit annoying.

Being pigeonholed?

Neil: Yeah. It was the same when Dusty Springfield [British singing legend] died. I did an interview with the BBC and they said, “Dusty was such a gay icon.” I said, “Why are you saying that? She was an amazing singer with a big audience and she meant a lot to many people!” She was a gay icon, if you agree with that concept, which I probably have a problem with, but it belittles them. I prefer the queer thing.

The queer thing?

Neil: When you’re a gay man of a certain generation [chuckles] you tend to miss the underground sort of feel about being gay. Monkey Business, one of the songs on the new album, talks about that point doesn’t it? The lyrics refer to “where we all cross the line”. Neil: Actually, that’s different. In Monkey Business I’m imagining I’m a straight man. We were walking down a back street in Austin, Texas and met a guy who recognised us, to our astonishment. When we asked him what he was doing there he replied, “I’m here on monkey business,” so I had to write that down. [Laughs]

What’s happening with the ABBA holograms? Do you need ABBA if you have Björn Again?

I’ve sung with Elton John before… and he’s not gay, that I’m aware of… [laughter].

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