'Sharp to the Flat' Musical
'Sharp to the Flat' is the working tile for a musical work started by Martin Day in the late 1990s. After waiting for an appropriate writing partner to appear and only nudging it along from time to time he started to pick the project up again in 2011. There have now been a few collaborations on individual songs and some raiding of his back catalog. Currently the project is lyrically complete and with the first draft of the script written. Most of the music exists just in notepad form, but now Martin now has his long awaited collaborator and so work is underway to develop the songs and record demos. Now that the lyrics have been copyrighted they can be published here.
After working hard on the implementation of a purchasing system Sam Ferrara finds that his job as a buyer is no longer needed. He has unwittingly been the architect of his own demise. He has some redundancy pay but he is tired and disillusioned with the corporate world. He wants to take a break but he doesn't want to fritter away his windfall. If he was to rent his house out he could live modestly from the income, but then where would he live himself?...
Meanwhile the widow Amanda Lovelace and her young daughter Abi are making a fresh start. Amanda has taken a teaching job in a local secondary school and needs a place to rent. They move into Sam's flat thinking that Sam is living elsewhere. But unbeknownst to them, Sam is sharing the house with them. Sam's solution leads him into new relationships and rather than simplifying his life, as he had hoped, it all gets complicated. He eavesdrops not only on Amanda's life but on her interior interior thoughts and struggles. He is drawn to her and resolves to help her in whatever ways he can. But he is also attracted to Amanda and it starts to seem that the feelings might be mutual.
For Amanda life seems to be on the up at last, but she doesn't realise that he good fortune is largely down to Sam. It feels like there is someone watching over her and her Christian friend Claire is only too happy to explain to her who that it, and that's what Amanda now believes too. Sam is furious that God is getting the credit for his kindnesses and when the whole story unravels and the truth is reveled Amanda is left to face a crisis of faith and to work out what had been truth and what are lies.
Amanda has her feisty sister Trudy Flood and close friend and fellow teacher Claire Hart to share life's struggles with whilst Sam routinely meets up his old school friends and confidants wide-boy Gary Windle and the hen-pecked Andy Sleet. Each has their own story to tell. Also involved are a variety of other friends, relatives and colleagues.
As all their stories unfold what is revealed is not only amusing but both heart-warming and disturbing, heart-wrenching and inspiring.
Without going into the entire plot, this is where the songs feature.
Scene 2 - In the office. The Project team working hard.
'When There's a Deadline Involved' - sung by chorus of office workers
The project has come to completion. Sam phones Gary arranging to meet at the pub there will be 7.
Scene 3 - In the coffee shop(left half of the stage). Claire has some news that a surprise vacancy has opened up at her school. Trudy and Amanda interrogate her for the gossip on it.
‘It’s a Scandal’ - sung by Trudy, Amanda & Claire
Scene 4 - In the Pub (the right half of the stage). Andy & Gary are chatting nostalgically about the good old days.
'Halcyon Days' - sung by Andy & Gary & pub chorus
Sam enters and is deflated following the successful implementation of the project and discusses feelings with his mates. They all agree they never would have expected life to turn out like this as school boys.
Scene 5 - Both the Coffee shop and Pub are lit.
&Claire reflect on how life has changed for them.
‘Not What We Planned’ - sung by Amanda, Trudy, Claire, Sam, Gary & Andy
Scene 6 - In the office. The next day Roy calls Andy into a meeting room. It seems that the success of the project means that Sam is out of a job.
'Your Country Needs You' - sung by Roy, HR woman & chorus of office workers
Scene 7 - In the Pub. Sam shares the news of his redundancy with Andy & Gary & they talk though the options. Andy then shares out of his own work experience : “I’ve not always been a dispensing chemist you know..”
‘Are you a man or a mouse?’ - sung by Andy
But what does Sam do now? He concludes that he doesn’t want to decide about a new job at the moment. But he doesn’t want to fritter away his redundancy money either. If only he could rent his house out. But where would he live?
Scene 8 - In Claire's flat. Claire puts Abi to bed and sings to her about what her Dad had been like & then rushes out to her bible study group leaving Amanda to complete the reflection on her own
‘How he loved you’ - sung by Claire & Amanda
Scene 9 - Outside the house (in front of curtain) Amanda and Abi are moving in with Claire, Trudy & Gulliver helping.
Sam introduces himself and says he will be staying with friends
Scene 10 - In the staff room. Amanda is introduced to the other teachers and talks about and she and Claire talk about different forms of learning with them. One of the teachers buts in with his own opinion.
'It's All About Me (Show Business)' - sung by Teacher and staff room chorus
Scene 11 - at the house. Sam calls in on Amanda, helps with some practical things and shows he knows his way around and where everything is.
‘We Could be Best of Friends' - sung by Sam & Amanda
He leaves shortly followed by Amanda & Abi, but lets himself back in once they've gone. He makes himself tea and toast and makes himself comfortable.
Scene 12 - at the house. The next morning Amanda opens her post and then phones her phone company about an unexpected bill. Whilst 'on hold' the operators from the call centre appear and taunt Amanda whilst she waits
'Your Call is Important' - sung by three Call Centre Girls
When Amanda finally gets through it seems that Abi has run up the bill calling a premium line. Amanda is tearful but they have to leave for school.
Sam appears from out of the fireplace, picks up and reads the bill, whilst making cereal, puts his feet up and flips on the TV.
Scene 13 - At the house. Amanda's house warming party is in full swing and various guests are introducing themselves
‘How is it you know Amanda?’ - sung by Gary, Phil, Anne, Lynn & chorus of Guests
As Amanda is seeing some guests out Sam disappears into the fireplace.
Amanda and Claire flop down and remark that they didn't see Sam go. Meanwhile we now see Sam listening to them from behind the wall. Claire leaves too and Amanda is left on her own. She reflects on her feelings with Sam still eavesdropping.
‘Lonely on my own’ - sung by Amanda & Sam
Scene 14 - In the Pub. Gary is telling Andy about the housewarming party. Andy asks where Sam is living. Sam explains the whole scenario to the amazement of the other two.
‘It Can't Work’ - sung by Sam, Gary & Andy
Sam tells them how he is making a difference in Amanda's life and that he plans to pay off her big bill too. They worry that he is getting in too deep. What will he do for Christmas? Sam asks Andy if he can spend it with him & Carol.
Scene 15 - In the house. It's Christmas eve. Amanda puts an excited Abi to bed and then retires herself. Sam finishes wrapping his presents behind the wall and emerges from the fireplace with a bag in his hand. Abi appears at the doorway and Sam freezes. "Are you my daddy?" ask the little girl. Sam say yes. She moves towards him, but he says she can't touch him and takes a stone from the mantelpiece saying "but I have something for you". He rolls the stone past Abi. she turns to chaise it and Sam make his escape to the front door silently.
Scene 16 - In the house. It's Christmas day. Amanda and Trudy are serving dinner to Abi, mother Yvette and brother Gulliver. As they are finishing Gulliver starts to explain about his current artistic project.
‘Here is the News’ - sung by Gulliver
Whilst the other clear away Amanda tells Trudy about Abi’s vision of her late father from the night before.
Scene 17 - At Andy & Carol’s house. Sam is answering Carols questions about what he is doing. Philanthropy he says. Carol interrupts the conversation by barking orders at Andy. When Sam leaves. She and Andy conduct a post mortem of the evening. Andy asks why appearances are so important to her.
‘Let's Pretend’ - sung by Carol & Andy
Scene 18 - In the house. Amanda tells Claire how her bill has been miraculously paid. Sam knocks, is let in and and joins the conversation.
'Your Call is Important brief reprise' - almost sung by three Call Centre Girls
There is some tension over the identity of Amanda’s 'guardian angel'
‘Somebody’s watching over me’ - sung by Amanda, Claire & Sam
Scene 19 - The next day In the house. Amanda recounts her epiphany to Claire, whilst Sam eavesdrops from the wall.
‘In my Dream’ - sung by Amanda
Claire identifies the who her Guardian Angel as Jesus and suggests they pray together
'I Will Enter In' - sung by Claire & Amanda
Scene 20 - In the Pub. Andy and Gary are still reminising
'Halcyon Days reprise ' - sung by Andy & Gary & pub chorus
Sam discusses the news that 'Amanda’s got religion' with Gary & Andy and is angry that he is not getting due credit for his kindness.
'How could you steal my thunder? '- sung by Sam
Scene 21 - At the church. The pastor leads the singing.
'White-Collar Blues' - sung by Pastor & church chorus.
Amanda struggles with the new culture. She confesses to Claire that the people seem nice but the she feels uncomfortable with the service. Claire reassures her that it is her own relationship with God that os important.
Scene 22 - At the house.. Amanda is deciding where to put the picture she's been given for Christmas. She takes down an existing picture and is shocked to discover the peep-hole in the wall and the room the lies beyond. She sits to ponder the situation as the light fades.
Sam returns and finds the peep-hole revealed. Amanda flips on the light she is still sitting in the chair. An charged and emotional discussion ensues and the truth is revealed. Sam phones to ask if he can stay with Andy for a few days & leaves.
Amanda is left to ponder what has been true and what lies in her time there
'I Can't Believe' - sung by Amanda.
Scene 23 - Outside the house (in front of curtain) Amanda is moving out with Claire, Trudy & Gulliver helping. Sam arrives and gets a frosty reception from all. He apologises to them and but add that at least they can see the sense that God doesn't come into it. Amanda announces says that she is reviewing what is true and what isn't but that she can't live there any more. She leaves to pick up Abi from Yvette's.
Scene 24 - At the church. Amanda, Trudy, Claire, Yvette & Abi are all present. Sam, Gary, & Andy are lurking at the back.
Amanda makes a speech about what she knows is true and is baptised.
'The Man of My Dreams' - Sung by Amanda and church Chorus
Sam want's to go but Andy thinks it seems like fun whilst Gary is eying up the girls in the congregation. Sam washes his hands of the whole thing and leaves in disgust.
Scene 25 - In the (present day) house. (Adult) Abi says, "There's nothing her for me now. If feels different than I remember" and confesses to the Estate Agent that her father died when she was very young and this was the only place she ever remembered seeing him. But he is not here now.
'House of Old Wounds (reprise)'' - sung by (Adult) Abi & full chorus.
She leaves the stone on the mantelpiece as she leaves.