Johnny’s Midnight Goggles began on a balcony in the south of France, when I looked up one day and saw a mysterious black camel in the nearby sports field, which soon disappeared. A little later, after they let me out of the psychiatric ward, I wrote down my experiences and set them to music. There was only one person with the pre-requisite talent and insanity to attempt such a piece…thankfully, Matt was having a house-warming and I knew he’d be more than drunk enough to take it on with open arms…I hoped he wouldn’t discover the bomb-carrying dwarves on page 4 until after I’d departed…also around that time another crazy man, one Bill Bankes-Jones, offered some work-in-progress space at the 2007 Tête à Tête festival…..and here we are.

 

PMW July 2008

 

Synopsis

 

A one-man operatic thriller.

 

Into the woods, through the labyrinth, over the rainbow – what happens when you slip off down the narrow alleyway? Is it the path to freedom or enslavement?

 

Not everything is as it seems in the sleepy coastal town of Le Lavandou. Away from the sparkling waters, sniffy waiters and slothful policemen a drama is unfolding, the magnitude of which threatens not only Johnny, Le Lavandou and Planet Earth, but, the entire Universe…

 

Has Johnny been kidnapped? Was that the Black Camel of Takrilakastan? What is the secret of this mysterious pair of goggles? Do the turban’d action hero, waltzing French waiter, transvestite cabaret-artiste, terrifying turtle-men and a cello hold the key?

 

(And will our narrator reach multi-tasking melt-down before the end of the piece?)

 

Midnight is fast approaching and the chase is on to rescue Johnny or…BOOM, it’s the end of the universe!

 

Music theatre story-telling with goggles on.

 

 

Performed by Matthew Sharp


Written and composed by Pete M Wyer


 


A SharpWire / Tête à Tête co-production.


Supported by Caravan.


 


SharpWire are international cellist/singer/theatre performer, Matthew Sharp and transatlantic composer/writer/guitarist Pete M Wyer. Their startlingly original, spellbinding excursions into uncharted music theatre territory have been acclaimed around the world. Ravishing music, engaging and entrancing narrative, sonic and visual wizardry and virtuoso performance are touchstones of their work so far.


 


Collectively, Matthew Sharp and Pete M Wyer have worked with the BBC, ENO, Opera North, National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Young Vic, Lincoln Center, RPO, LPO, Sony, Naxos, Avie and Thirsty Ear Records, Carol Brown, Jessica Lang, Miro Dance Theatre, Phyllida Lloyd, Tim Supple, John Keane and Brian Eno, amongst many others. This is their third show.


 


Matthew Sharp has performed worldwide as solo cellist, singer and theatre performer. He combines core, ‘classical’ activities – appearances with the RPO, LPO, Ural Philharmonic, Opera North (Papageno), at the Young Vic and National Theatre Studio, recordings for Sony, Naxos and Avie – with a uniquely pioneering outlook both within music and across disciplines – world premieres by major composers, projects with musicians at the forefront of jazz, electronic, rock and world music and cross-disciplinary collaborations with leading artists.


 


Pete M. Wyer is a roving, all-purpose writer and composer, from a self-taught background. He has been a guest composer with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the Juilliard School, New York. His works for television include Roman Mysteries for the BBC and a number of commercials.


 


An album, Stories from the city at night, is released by Thirsty Ear Records, New York in October 2008. He is currently developing a new opera with Bryony Lavery, John Keane and Phyllida Lloyd. He lives in Brighton.