Once upon a time, there was a circus.
A Psychic Circus, to be precise. A glorious haven for the misfits of the universe.
But then, as is so often the way, it was hijacked by a trio of malevolent Gods.
Things grew unpleasant.
Now, years later, the Gods are gone, but the scars of those who survived the Circus remain. After all, you can’t change the past.
Unless you’re the Children of the Circus… and you’re willing to sing.
Based on Doctor Who’s The Greatest Show in the Galaxy by Stephen Wyatt, Children of the Circus is a brand-new, original, musical play on audio from AUK Studios; written by Kenton Hall (with songs by Christopher Guard) and based on an idea by Barnaby Eaton-Jones.
Starring Christopher Guard as Bellboy, Dee Sadler as Flowerchild and Ella, Sophie Aldred as Captain Gren and AJ, Toyah Willcox as The Band of Infinite Harmony, Ian Reddington as Delios and the Chief Clown, and Sylvester McCoy as the High Poet.
With Daisy Dunlop, Verity White, Kim Jones, Kenton Hall, Barnaby Eaton-Jones and Ian Kubiak.
Special guest appearances by Ricco Ross as The Ringmaster, Jessica Martin as Mags, Chris Jury as Deadbeat, Deborah Manship as Morgana, Gian Sammarco as Whizz Kid, Daniel Peacock as Nord, and Dean Hollingsworth as the Bus Conductor and Station Announcer.
Produced and directed by Barnaby Eaton-Jones, for AUK Studios.
Buy a copy on AUK Direct
(from left to right, Toyah Willcox, Ian Kubiak, Christopher Guard, Barnaby Eaton-Jones, Dee Sadler, Kenton Hall, and Sophie Aldred)
Ever since producer/director Barnaby Eaton-Jones saw the original broadcast of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, he was fascinated by the world that Stephen Wyatt had created…
“There was such a wild mix of horror, science fiction, music, and fantasy, that it blew my adolescent mind; with images and characters forever stuck in my head. I wanted to revisit some of the characters and introduce new ones. With the permission of Stephen Wyatt (who came up with the title for this new production), and the help of writer Kenton Hall and actor/musician Christopher Guard, we were able to create something rather unique in the audio medium.”
Kenton Hall himself says:
“Like most swinging, modern people, I receive a daily deluge of emails that begin with the fateful words “would you be interested in…” As a result, I have developed a tendency to give them, at best, a brief, withering glare.
In this case, however, it read “would I be interested in playing in the sandbox of Stephen Wyatt’s marvellous ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’?”
Does the lesser spotted gumblejack smell faintly of cinnamon?
Spoiler: the answer to both questions is yes.”
Songwriter, Christopher Guard, who played Bellboy in the original TV serial, added…
“As with all the best things in life, I don’t remember quite how or when it began. I think I’d sent some of my songs – recent and ancient – to Barnaby just as he was dreaming up a sequel to ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’. It was more a shooting star than a light bulb moment. Irresistible synchronicity had struck, and ‘Children of the Circus’ was a THING!
It was just a question of time. Or timelessness.
Stephen Wyatt blessed us, Kenton Hall seized his cosmic pen, and the rest is mystery. Unravelled. With music.
How amazing to act and sing with so many of the original cast, to slip into Bellboy’s loons once more, and to travel seamlessly beyond our wildest dreams.”
Returning as his co-star, Dee Sadler (who played Bellboy’s partner, Flowerchild), got to not only play her original role but a completely new one as well…
“What a complete joy and a privilege it was to be reunited with everyone again after a mere 35 years, and on such a brilliant, funky script, too.
Nothing much had changed between us in the interim and the chemistry was still evident. Playing opposite Bellboy again, as Flowerchild (as well as her mysteriously connected Ella) was pretty special. More than!”
And it wouldn’t be a proper sequel without the return of Sylvester McCoy (the Seventh Doctor) and Sophie Aldred (who played the Doctor’s travelling companion, Ace). So, they’re here. But not as you’d expect. Sylvester gives us High Poet; all befuddled charm and with a whisper of duplicity and danger. Sophie gives us two magnificently different characters in the form of Captain Gren (the gruff owner of a Time Ship) and AJ (a sentient piece of rust, who navigates the Time Ship).
(Sylvester McCoy, with AUK Studios CEO, Paul Andrews)
Sylvester himself sums it up rather beautifully…
‘To return to the worlds of Stephen Wyatt’s imagination, but as a wholly new character called the High Poet, means I get to be involved with the Psychic Circus rather than fighting against it! As a lover of the circus myself, juggling this new role was a joy (though I’m sad I didn’t get to play the spoons).
What fun to be reunited with all the wonderful cast from ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ again, 35 years later, and I hope you’ll all enjoy this time-sliding, sidestepping sequel from Barnaby Eaton-Jones and his bunch of clowns!”
Producer and director, Barnaby Eaton-Jones, was delighted to reunite the entire surviving voice cast of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy…
“The fact that everyone who was asked, without fail, did their best to accommodate my requests for a cameo, shows the love that they hold this Doctor Who serial in. Even with Ricco Ross living in America and being a big star there, and Gian Sammarco retiring form showbusiness 30 years ago, nobody refused, and everyone was delighted to be reuniting.”
Joining the cast in a major role was 1980’s icon (singer/actress/songwriter), Toyah Willcox. It’s long been known she was a fan of Doctor Who, as she appeared in Kevin Jon Davies’ acclaimed documentary 30 Years in the TARDIS, but to get her to create a multi-voiced role as The Band of Infinite Harmony (and get her own solo song, which can heard in full after the end credits as a bonus extra track) was something she clearly relished…
“At last, I get to play all four members of the band and still have the last say…. love it. Seriously it was wonderful to play THE BAND and equally wonderful to hear this rather fab story unfold, a rock and roll odyssey of comic proportions.”
(Christopher Guard, Barnaby Eaton-Jones, and Toyah Willcox – at Yellow Shark Studios)
CHILDREN OF THE CIRCUS
(Based on ‘The Greatest Show in the Galaxy’ by Stephen Wyatt)
Bellboy – CHRISTOPHER GUARD
Ella / Flowerchild – DEE SADLER
Delios / Chief Clown – IAN REDDINGTON
Captain Gren / AJ – SOPHIE ALDRED
Mel’Dee / The Band (Lead Voice) – TOYAH WILLCOX
The High Poet – SYLVESTER MCCOY
Gregoria – KIM JONES
The Tooth – BARNABY EATON-JONES
Barkeep – IAN KUBIAK
The Ringmaster – RICCO ROSS
Deadbeat – CHRIS JURY
Mags – JESSICA MARTIN
Morgana – DEBORAH MANSHIP
Whizz Kid – GIAN SAMMARCO
Nord – DANIEL PEACOCK
Bus Conductor / Announcer – DEAN HOLLINGSWORTH
Rag – BARNABY EATON-JONES
Na – KENTON HALL
Rok – KIM JONES
Ella (Singing Voice) – DAISY DUNLOP
Flowerchild (Singing Voice) – VERITY WHITE
Resident – BELLBOY
Fishing For Stars – BELLBOY / ELLA
How You Feel – BELLBOY / ELLA / DELIOS
Doing Something Right – DELIOS
Welcome To Me – BELLBOY / FLOWERCHILD
Blind Side – DELIOS
Fear – BELLBOY / ELLA / DELIOS / THE BAND
Darkest Moment Well Connected – MEL’DEE
Heaven – BELLBOY / FLOWERCHILD / DELIOS / GREN
Script – KENTON HALL
Songs / Arrangements – CHRISTOPHER GUARD
(‘Resident’ & ‘Darkest Moment Well Connected’, co-written with Indians In Moscow)
Additional Lyrics – KENTON HALL
Incidental Music – ABIGAIL FOX
Sound Design / Editing – JOSEPH FOX
Cover Art – TIM KEABLE
Graphic Design – ROBERT HAMMOND
Musical Production – KENTON HALL & CHRIS IILETT
Script Editor – BARNABY EATON-JONES
Executive Producer – PAUL ANDREWS
Director / Producer – BARNABY EATON-JONES
Recorded at Sound Shack Studios by Gregory Wlson-Copp, Arpeggio Creative by Alex White, Yellow Shark Studios by Ollie Gray, and Voice Over Soho by Tom Sichel.
With thanks to Stephen Wyatt (for his creative sandbox), Stu Walton (a musical genius), Wink Taylor (for stand-in duties), and Simon McInnery, Florin C Pascu & Kosmas Mylon (for the sessions).
An AUK Studios production © 2023