Work in progress online: Cautionary Tale

On Saturday evening I tuned in to a Zoom first: a work in progress of a new British musical (by Rebecca Atkinson-Lord and Rebecca Applin) which mixes an industrial backdrop with folk tales.

This post offers some information on the piece, which I hope to review in a final form at some point in the future.


This live workshop reading of Cautionary Tale was presented by a professional cast with additional videos contributed by people at home in response to a social media campaign by theatre company Arch 468.

This second workshop had thirteen performers on screen plus recorded singing and music – there is also a website which includes a draft script of the show, allowing the audience to follow along until the final couple of scenes.


We’re in “the glum, grey grime of Gloaming”, a gloomy and grimy Northern village on the outskirts of Burnley, with magical moments and many unusual characters. As I was born on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire this setting was of particular interest.


This reading was presented on Zoom on 20 June and led by book/lyric writer Rebecca Atkinson-Lord’s stage directions. We saw hints of set and costume ideas throughout to broaden the single window set-up.

Quick thoughts on the workshop

With a score which touches on opera and lullabies, and a script which delves into the language of the storybook, there is much to be built on. An enjoyable reading of a potentially important addition to the musical landscape, but a little long at present.

Cautionary Tale is currently in development. For more information you can access the show’s dedicated website at or follow Arch 468 on Twitter.