Character profiles

As part of the development process for the Sharp to the Flat musical, I sat down and 'interviewed' each of the significant characters in order to get fully rounded personalities. Here is the distillation of that process. Some of their background details didn't ever emerge in the finished work, but they contributed to the characters in my mind as the piece was being written.

Principal Characters

Amanda Lovelace

Amanda LovelaceAmanda is unsure of herself. Haunted by self-doubt, and battered and bruised by the hard knocks of life she finds life an uphill struggle. She longs to have a faith like her friend Claire. Because of financial pressures she is trying to open a new chapter, hoping against hope that her luck will change. As her story progresses she finds reason to have confidence in herself and become finally at home in her own skin
> Age 27
> (Maiden name Flood) - widowed with a
daughter and has lost touch with her late-husband's (Rory's) family
> At age 7 she had distracted her mother (whilst she was driving drunk) who had turned to shout at her and collided with another car. Consequently her mother walked on crutches for next 6 months and was banned from driving. "Look what you've done!"
> As a result of this trauma she is unsure of her place in the world
> Her mother is a domineering critic and it's clear why Amanda is unsure of her own mind
> She is outwardly easy-going, but procrastinates, is easily crushed and worries that others will think badly of her
> She is a secondary school maths teacher
> Songs: 'A Faith Of My Own', 'Not What We Planned', 'How He Loved You', 'Lonely On My Own', 'We Could Be Best Of Friends', 'Somebody’s Watching Over Me', 'In My Dream', 'I Will Enter In', 'I Can’t Believe', 'Not What We Planned (reprise)', 'The Man Of My Dreams', 'It’s A Scandal(retired song)'
> Amanda's parts are sung by Sarah Jones

Sam Ferrara

Sam FerraraSam has a kind and caring nature, but the pressures of work have left him jaded and disillusioned. Although there is a lot to like about him, he has a dangerous capacity for deception. When things don't go his way an ugly angry controlling side is revealed. It's clear that he is more complex than the easy-going persona he likes to portray.
>
Age (50 &) 32
>
sent to boarding school (Wiltshire) from age 11 and didn't like it, but it was where he met
Gary & Andy
> he had a previous steady girlfriend, Ruth, but she left him because she felt stifled by him (and his controlling behaviour)
> he wanted to be an engineer and defy his father's lack of belief in him
> His mother was a legal secretary, then a housewife
> His Father Ed always had a down on him, showing particular impatience with is tendency to lie.
> There is some doubt as to whether Ed is his natural father.
> He is obsessive about control (that he didn't have growing up). His desire to help Amanda is overtaken by his desire to control her life
> Songs: 'House Of Old Wounds', 'Not What We’d Planned', 'It Can’t Work', 'How Is It You Know Amanda?', 'Lonely On My Own', 'We Could Be Best Of Friends', 'Somebody’s Watching Over Me', 'Not What We’d Planned (reprise)', 'House Of Old Wounds (reprise)', 'How Could You Steal My Thunder?(deleted song)'
> Sam's parts are sung by Darren Street

Claire Hart

Claire HartClaire is a good and faithful friend. Although she is positive and encouraging there is a naivety about her that fails to discern the motivations of the people around her.
>
Age 25 - 35
>
Amanda's friend & fellow Geography teacher
> She got Amanda the job at the St Jude’s school and was a friend from teacher training college.
> She is sharp and funny, but kind and caring too.
> She is not 'religious', but is open about her Christian faith
> She suffered from clinical depression in her late teenage years which contributed to the realisation of a personal faith.
> Songs: 'Not What We’d Planned', 'Somebody’s Watching Over Me', 'I Will Enter In', 'It’s A Scandal (retired song)'
> Claire's parts are sung by Emma Hough

Trudy Flood

Trudy FloodTrudy is bright, feisty and doesn't take 'no' for an answer. In this she is the opposite of her sister. Although she has been successful in life, she has a hot temper, especially when she perceives an injustice.
>
Age 25
>
Amanda's younger sister  - the wild one - always stood up to mum - never married, never wanted to have kids.
> Dreamed of being racing driver & still loves fast cars
> Now heads her own recruitment agency ('Dream Jobs') in the city
> Calls her sister Mandy
> Songs: 'Not What We’d Planned', 'How He Loved You', 'It’s A Scandal (retired song)'
> Trudy's parts are sung by Laura Brand

Andy Sleet

Andy SleetAndy is cautious and unadventurous and as a result lets life pass him by. He enjoys hanging out with 'the lads', but is the natural moderator.
>
Age 32
>
Regretful, melancholic, pessimistic, dispensing chemist
> Old school friend of
Sam
> Dreamt of being a fireman, but didn't make it in on chest measurements
> As a student he has a holiday job wearing a cartoon character suit
> He always sees the downside, and the problems in Sam's plans
> Married to Carol (ah that name - music to my ears!) and hen pecked
> Songs: 'Halcyon Days', 'Not What We’d Planned', 'It Can’t Work', 'Halcyon Days (reprise)', 'Let’s Pretend', 'Are You A Man Or A Mouse?' (retired song)
> Andy's parts are sung by Alex Kirkham

Gary Windle

Gary WindleGary is a 'Jack-the-lad' character who would like to consider himself the alpha male. He is full of simplistic, seeming authoritative, opinions, but is mostly just hot air.
> Age 32
>
A loud, foot-in-mouth type, loves telling stories, loves all sports, but has never been a participant
> Knows it all and has a view on everything
> Something of a 'wannabe' philanderer
> Old school friend of
Sam
> Works as a self-employed builder
> Lives with long-suffering girlfriend Babs, in the same street as Sam
> Songs: 'Halcyon Days', 'Not What We’d Planned', 'It Can’t Work', 'How Is It You Know Amanda?', 'Halcyon Days (reprise)'
> Gary's parts are sung by Neil Brown

Abi Lovelace

Abi LovlaceAdult Abi LovlaceAbi is a young child, seemingly happy but preoccupied (if not obsessed) with the Father she has lost.
>
Age (25 &) 7
>
Amanda's daughter. As a little girl: loves imagining, writing and putting on plays
> She is idolises her dad although she can't remember him. She always wants people to tell her about him
> As a child she is never told about her father’s true character (nor the scandal of Sam's deceit). All she remembers of him is of once having a vision of her father by the fireplace
> By age 25 she is an archeologist working on a dig in the town. She wants to buy the flat and to stand in the property one more time, trying to capture something of her father - it was the only time she remembers ever seeing him.
> Songs (as adult Abi) : 'House Of Old Wounds', 'House Of Old Wounds (reprise)'
> Adult Abi's parts are sung by Sabrina Hinchliffe

Minor Characters

Ed Sixsmith

Ed SixsmithEd is very much his own man with his own approach to teaching.
> Age 30 - 60
>
Sam's (step?-)father
> Married Sam's mother when Sam was 5 and divorced her when he was 14.
> Cynical teacher at St Jude's, Science
> Big character and a showman of a teacher
> Once a passionate teacher, he was bullied by his first classes which caused him to morph into the sadistic narcissistic cynic we see today
> Songs: 'It’s All About Me (Show Business)'
> Ed's part is sung by Jon Bingham

Carol Sleet

Carol SleetCarol is all about appearances and insists her husband supports her pretences.
> Age 25 - 35
>
Andy's wife and new first time mother
> She is insecure and feels the need to put on an act to impress others
> She has the reputation for nagging her husband
> Songs: 'Let’s Pretend'
> Carol's part is sung by Anna Tippelt

Yvette Flood

Yvette FloodYvette is a blinkered and self-centred woman who has been less than even-handed in bringing up her children.
> Age 55+
>
Amanda's mother is sour, bitter, selfish, manipulative & fault finding.
> She plays the victim if she can't get her way
> She constantly criticises Amanda, seems more generous with Abi , but can't control the rebellious Trudy
> Her husband left her when Amanda was 5
> Yvette's is a non-singing part

Walk-on Characters

Leslie

Leslie DraperLeslie is weak character and essentially a people pleaser.
>
Age 25 - 60
>
Teacher at St Jude's, RE
> Is also a church goer and behaves differently dependent on the environment
> His is very much an
Ed wannabe
> Songs: 'It’s All About Me (Show Business)
> Leslie's part is sung by Fred Pollard

Jade, Anupreet & Sue

JadeAnupreetSueThey are just doing their job ... "Is there anything else I can help you with?"
>
Age 18+
>
They are call centre operatives who keep Amanda waiting
> Songs: 'Your Call Is Important', 'Your Call Is Important (reprise)'
> Jade's part is sung by Megan Swaisland, Anupreet's by Monisha Parhar, and Sue's by Anna Tippelt

Phil, Anne & Lynn

PhilAnneLynnThey are just the random people to meet at a party, learn a little about, and then move on to the next person.
>
Age 20+
>
Guests at
Amanda's housewarming party
> They simply introduce themselves to other party guests. Phil is plumber, Anne a tax inspector and Lynn is recovering from a traumatic robbery at he bank
> Songs: 'How Is It You Know Amanda?'
> Phil's part is sung by Fred Pollard, Anne's by Megan Swaisland and Lynn's by Maria Langford

Judy

Judy SimpkinsJust another teacher in the staff room
>
Age 25+
>
Teacher at St Jude's English

 

 

Chorus

Ensemble

chorus> Ages various
>
Townsfolk
> Pub patrons
> Party guests
> Staff room teachers
> Travellers at the airport
> Office workers at KavRoss Industries (retired scenes), including Workers1, 2, 3 & 4
> Songs:
'House Of Old Wounds', 'Halcyon Days', 'How Is It You Know Amanda?', 'Halcyon Days (reprise)', 'It’s All About Me (Show Business)', 'The Man Of My Dreams', 'House Of Old Wounds (reprise)', 'When There's A Deadline involved' (retired song), 'Your Company Needs You' (retired song), 'White-Collar Blues (retired song)'
> Ensemble parts are sung variously by Fred Pollard, Megan Swaisland, Issie Webb, Matt Hough, Emily Dear, Jeandanel Antwi, Alex Kirkham, Alice Hoyle, Philippa Leadbetter, Monisha Parhar, Danni Stembridge, Sabrina Hinchliffe, Elly Fenton, Emma Hough & Martin Day.

Retired Characters!

Gulliver Flood

Gulliver FloodGulliver is the spoilt brat of the family. He is trying to forge a career as a performance artist. His parents have always indulged him.
>
Age 21
>
Amanda's arty younger brother, something of a waster & freeloader. Lets everyone look after him
> Is a dreamer, believing he will be the next big thing by having a brilliant concept of reviving the role of the strolling minstrel of the modern world
> Calls his sister Mandy
> Songs: 'Here Is The News(retired song)'
> Gulliver's part is sung by Martin Day

Roy Edwards

Roy EdwardsRoy is a manager in a big corporation.
>
Age 35 - 60
>
Sam's boss at KavRoss Industries
> A classically stressed executive
> Catch phase is 'my hands are tied'
> Songs: 'When There's A Deadline Involved' (retired song), 'Your Company Needs You' (retired song)
> Roy's parts are sung by Akhil Gowrinath

HR Officer

HR OfficerAn administrator discharging her duties.
>
Age 18+
>
Working in the Personnel department at KavRoss
> Songs:
'Your Company Needs You' (retired song)
> HR Officer's part is sung by Elly Fenton

 

Estate Agent/Worker 1

Estate Agent/Worker 1Once a worker with Sam at KavRoss.
>
Age 20 & 40
>
In the present day he now works as an estate agent (who, in an earlier draft, showed Adult Abi around the flat)
>Songs: 'When There's A Deadline Involved' (retired song), 'Your Company Needs You' (retired song)
> Worker 1's part is sung by Matt Hough

Pastor Dudley

Pastor DudleyDudley is the at the centre of the local church, both popular, and in demand, with the church members.
>
Age 45 - 65
>
Preacher at
Claire's church
> Basically genuine, but a little too used to being at the centre of things
> Songs: 'White-Collar Blues(deleted song)'
> Pastor Dudley's part is sung by Martin Day

Peter Hardy

Peter found teaching just too much.
>
Teacher at St Jude's, Maths
> Has had to resign, due to stress, leaving an opening for
Amanda

Absent Characters

Rory Lovelace

Everybody liked Rory, but behind the scenes he was a nasty piece of work.
>
Abi's dad: handsome, gregarious, life and soul type, but was self centred and controlling.
> Jealous and brutal to Amanda in private
> Died when Abi was 2
> He was an actor and the only record of him is a walk on part in a TV comedy a week before he died (Abi watches this repeatedly)

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