Catch My Soul (UK stage version)

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Disambiguation: for Film version see Catch My Soul

Jack Good's Catch My Soul
Rock Othello (UK stage version)
with the rock band Gass
Catch my soul original live cast recording back cover.jpg
Music Ray Pohlman
Emil Dean Zoghby
Lyrics Jack Good
Book William Shakespeare
Basis Othello
Productions The Prince of Wales Theatre, The Roundhouse, Manchester, Oxford, Birmingham

Catch My Soul is the UK stage version of the rock musical produced by Jack Good. The show was a showcase for the talents of Lance LeGault, P. P. Arnold, P.J. Proby and an introduction to the rock musician Robert Tench and the band Gass.[1] It was loosely adapted from Shakespeare's Othello[2] and the character of Iago had originally been played by Jerry Lee Lewis[3] in the US production which had closed in 1968.[4]

The first UK stage performance was at the University Theatre Manchester by the 69 Theatre Company with Angharad Rees as Desdemona. The London stage version opened at The Roundhouse in 1969 and moved to the Prince of Wales Theatre in the West End in 1970.[5] The show also toured larger UK cities and closed in January 1972.[6] The original UK cast recorded Catch My Soul (1971), with music as interpreted by Gass, the house band at that time.[7] A film, Catch My Soul, was released in 1973 with a different cast.

The plot[edit]

Jack Good's Catch My Soul is based on William Shakespeare's play Othello and set in a commune. Good's musical contained many of the human elements of Shakespeare's original work. The characters names were kept as in the original play, but there were deviations from the plot which Shakespeare wrote. This approach alienated many critics, but was a success with the public.

Othello is a wandering evangelist who happens onto Iago's remote commune. There he marries the lovely Desdemona much to the chagrin of Iago, who also loves her. The conniving commune leader then manages to quietly pressure Othello until murder and tragedy ensue.[8]

Featured artists[edit]

Peter Knight produced the album Catch My Soul "Jack Good's Catch My Soul-Rock Othello". He was the son of another Peter Knight and produced the London version of the musical Hair (1968).

P. P. Arnold appeared as Bianca. She worked with the Small Faces and was signed to Immediate Records. Arnold also had success as a solo pop singer and backing vocalist, working with an eclectic mix of recording artists including Andy Gibb, Boy George, Roger Waters and Ocean Colour Scene. In 1984, she returned to the stage in the cast of the musical Starlight Express as Belle the Sleeping Car. In mid-2007, she released her first recorded work for several years, Five In The Afternoon. The album is a duet with The Blow Monkeys' frontman Dr. Robert.

P.J. Proby appeared as Michael Cassio. Proby later became better known for his theatrical portrayals of Elvis Presley in the musical Elvis Live, a show that Good first produced in 1977.[9] In 1993, Proby appeared in Good's biographical musical Good Rockin' Tonite as himself. In 1994, he was in Only the Lonely, a musical based on the life of Roy Orbison.

Lance LeGault appeared as Iago, a role he played again in the 1974 Metromedia film version. Later on he appeared in his most well-known role, "Colonel Roderick Decker" in The A-Team. Le Gault also appeared in other successful television programs including Magnum, P.I., Knight Rider, Airwolf and Dallas.

Original cast members[edit]

Singers
The Chorus
  • Kevin Dean
  • Karin Dominic
  • Kookie Eaton
  • Eva Lewis
  • Marcia Miller
  • Vernon Pickering
  • Anthony Smart
  • Michael Trussel
  • Sandra Wood
  • Liz White

The house band[edit]

British rock band Gass performed as the house band during the show's initial run. They left Catch My Soul when the show moved to the Prince of Wales Theatre in February 1971.[10]

Band members
  • Robert Tench - vocals and guitar
  • Derek Austin - organ and piano
  • DeLisle Harper - vocals and bass
  • Godfrey McLean - drums

Robert Tench, better known as Bobby Tench, also performed with the band on the London club circuit[11] before joining the second Jeff Beck Group in May 1971. He later recorded with Linda Lewis and is best known for his work with Freddie King, Hummingbird, Humble Pie, Streetwalkers and Van Morrison.

Additional musicians
  • Lennox Langton-congas
  • Keith Maynard-trumpet
  • John Bennett-trombone
  • Phil Kenzie-tenor and baritone saxophone
  • Bob Thompson-trumpet
  • Geoff Driscoll-tenor saxophone, flute and tin whistle
  • David Coxhill-baritone saxophone and flute

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joynson, Vernon. The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras. Borderline. p. 325. 
  2. ^ Macaisa/Bevington/Raccah/John. Othello By William Shakespeare. p. 25. 
  3. ^ Bob Dylan. "Lust of the Blood from the rock musical". www.dreamtimepodcast.com. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  4. ^ Jerry Lee Lewis as Lago. TheEastTennessean.com
  5. ^ Morley, Sheridan; Green, Edward and Jensen John. Review copies: plays and players in London, 1970-74. p. 63. 
  6. ^ Guernsey Jr., Hirschfeld, McNally, Genet, Miller, Van. The Best Plays of 1971-1972. p. 63. 
  7. ^ "Catch My Soul album cover". homeonline.com. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  8. ^ Catch My Soul. A brief plot synopsis by Sandra Brennan at Allmovie.com
  9. ^ Answers.com: I.J. Good by Bruce Eder
  10. ^ Hjort and Hinman. Jeff's book: A Chronology of Jeff Beck's Career 1965-1980. p. 111. 
  11. ^ Leslie Fran (October 2009). Interview with Bobby Tench. Blues In Britain. pp. 18, 19, 20 Vol 1 issue 94. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Hjort, Chris and Hinman, Doug. Jeff's book : A chronology of Jeff Beck's Career 1965-1980 : from the Yardbirds to Jazz-Rock. Rock 'n' Roll Research Press, (2000). ISBN 0-9641005-3-3
  • Joynson, Vernon. The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976. Borderline (2006). Reprinted (2008). ISBN 1-899855-15-7
  • Morley, Sheridan. Green, Donald Edward. Jensen, Donald Edward. Review copies: plays and players in London, 1970-74. Robson Books (1974). Digitized (9 Feb 2007).ISBN 9780903895255

External links[edit]