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.


What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.