Musical Theatre Blind Date: Christine & Gavin discuss their Hyde Park Corner song

Christine Croyden speaks to us about her experience of writing from across the other side of the world!

Unlike most of the artists matched for Blind Date at the Iris Theatre, composer Gavan Dale and I have not met because I live in Melbourne Australia and he lives in Bristol. So we’ve worked on our song, Can’t we feed the ducks instead? via a series of emails.

I am primarily a playwright and my lyrics always grow from whatever story I’m telling as dry lyrics. So, when we received our brief to write a song about Hyde Park Corner for a male duet I thought back to when I lived in London in the late eighties. In those days I’d get off at Hyde Park Corner on my way from South Kensington, and walk along the path by the Serpentine through the park to watch the free theatre at Speakers’ Corner. These were the Thatcher years so there were often crowds of angry people gathered there. More recently, I had to deliver a presentation about a musical I’m working on and, as I hate public speaking and the work means a great deal to me, I found myself very nervous.

speakers corner

These two experiences somehow melded and the result is: ‘Can’t we feed the ducks instead?’ – a song about two young men on their way to Speakers’ Corner to deliver a manifesto when, while on the train, one of them gets cold feet. It is a duet and one singer is an Australian living in London and the other is English. They’re studying at university together and share similar political views. It’s a comic song with lots of teasing, irreverence and irony so the stage action is very important, and for this reason I hope two musical theatre actors who have experience with comedy, and appreciate the spirit of our song are available to perform it. I’m just sorry I can’t be in London to see the show on the 22nd of October.


We wish these guys the best of luck!