Join the Marathon!

Published: 28 October 2020
Reporter: Peter Lathan

The Marathon Project Credit: Alfie Jayden

The Marathon Project, a unique music theatre collaboration between some of the most innovative music theatre creators in the UK including artists from the BAC's beatbox collective (London), Burnt Lemon Theatre (Hitchin), The Letter Room (Newcastle), Sheep Soup (Nottingham) and SplitLip (London and Manchester), invites new participants as collaborators, listeners, supporters, or even all of these.

It will be a musical 'choose your own adventure', inspired by the 1904 Olympic Marathon—an infamous, surreal race beset by challenges, chaotic leadership and utterly unfathomable obstacles—and a response to this year, 2020, the 'marathon' no-one chose to run. “A rallying cry,” the organisers tell us, “against these desperate times, inviting musicians, theatre-makers, artists from wherever they are to join a project that celebrates the ways we stick together, even as we're apart.”

These musical theatre creators have united—miserable, hopeful, and longing to do something that might help themselves and others—to collaborate for the first time in a unique and distanced way.

The Marathon Project will be playable entirely online and will explore the chaos, hilarity, tragedy and ultimate triumph of refusing to give up, no matter what. Ultimately, they say, The Marathon Project hopes to celebrate the best of humanity in the face of adversity—the community, the courage, the humour—whilst taking a critical look at what happens when the rule-makers are clearly just making it up as they go along.

The first scratch material will be presented remotely at The Lowry's Musical Rewrites on the 10 November.

The Marathon Project is now a few months into its initial and self-funded R&D and is hoping to gather more "runners"—more musicians, more makers, more remixers, coders, gamers—who might want to join them.

Currently, The Letter Room members involved are Meghan Doyle, Stan Hodgson and Alice Blundell with special guest artists Oseloka Obi, Kaz Costello and Jeremy Bradfield, with more are expected to join.