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Saturday 24 November 2012

Tonight: Ken Barlow - the musical

Matthew Strachan
In August this year we blogged about award winning composer and singer-songwriter Matthew Strachan.  Matthew will be performing an evening of his songs at the St James Theatre Studio, London tonight - Saturday 24 November. And Matthew will also be debuting selections from a new oratorio based on the life of Coronation Street’s Ken Barlow.

Hang on a minute... oratorio based on the life of our Ken?

But this is an award winning composer who has an illustrious musical career including composing the award-winning soundtrack to the international hit TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?  He has a piano and vocal album of his songs called 25 Year Songbook just released by Nono Records and you can find out more about him on his website at

So why's he gone all musical about Ken the Corrie stud muffin?  Well, we wanted to know and so we asked him.  Here's our EXCLUSIVE Coronation Street Blog interview with Matthew Strachan who explains all.

Q. What is an oratorio?
A. It's sort of like an opera but not staged. More of a concert with a story, soloists and a chorus.

Q. Is the piece a comic work or something with more depth?
A. It's a bit tongue in cheek I suppose. But there'll be big dramatic bits. Especially when Mike Baldwin turns up.

Q. What does Ken mean to you? He must have made a big impact on you to inspire an oratorio.
A. He means the voice of reason in Weatherfield.

Q. Are you/were you a fan of Coronation Street?
A. I used to watch it every Monday and Wednesday with my mother.

Q. What aspect of Ken most fascinates you? He is, after all, both an intellectual and a ladies' man.
A. He's got a lot of turbulent history for such a mild man. He knows all about Shakespeare. He knows a lot about Rita Sullivan too...

Q. Is the oratorio based on the facts of Ken's life as we know them from Corrie, or are there imagined elements in it?
A. There's dream sequences in it but I'm aiming to stay true to Ken's history.

Q. Where does the oratorio fit in with the rest of your output?
A. I'm hoping I'll be a celebrated composer after this. Something like a modern day Handel.

Q. As a role model, what can Ken show us about life?
A. He's taught us to overcome setbacks, stay the course, be yourself against all odds and to look after your hair.

Q. Ideally, who would play Ken if your oratorio was performed?
A. I'm thinking Dmitri Hvorostovsky for Ken and Jonas Kaufmann for Mike Baldwin. We're talking to them. They're not talking back though.

Q. What other subjects do you write about?
A. I've written about murderers, the media, social networking, loneliness and Monica Lewinsky. Stuff you can dance to. I have also written about three straightforward love songs.

Well, Corrie fans, there you have it. A Ken Barlow oratorio from a world-cass composer. If anyone goes to see this and would like to blog about it for us afterwards, do please let us know!

Find out more about Matthew Strachan at his website 

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1 comment:

Theatre Tickets said...

Let me guess...
The main setting will be in a pub.


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