Thursday 18 July 2019

Malahide's Lauryn is bringing her 'Big Shot' back home

Malahide musical composer, writer and director, Lauryn Gaffney
Malahide musical composer, writer and director, Lauryn Gaffney

A musical penned by a young and talented Malahide woman is coming back to the Dublin stage after wowing audiences in London and the US.

Big Shot is the musical and Lauryn Gaffney from Malahide is the musical, writer, composer and director behind the show.

On February 22, there is another chance for Dublin audiences to experience the joy of this great musical when Big Shot comes to the Helix.

By the age of 22, Lauryn Gaffney had written, staged and toured her first musical, Big Shot.

Just a few short years later, the show has played in London and the US to great acclaim and now it is back on home soil.

So how did the young Malahide woman come to write an entire musical at the age of 21, taking it to the stage and touring it London, the United States and even Mexico at just 22?

The musical was 'Big Shot' and Lauryn explained how it came about: 'I was in my final year in college and I always loved writing music and I always had it at the back of my mind that I wanted to write a show.

'I was sitting at the piano one day and I started writing a song and I heard a lawyer character singing it and it kind of grew from there. I built a story around it involving a lawyer and I started writing and writing and before I knew it, I had a musical. I was 21 when I started writing it and 22 when we started staging it.'

A J1 trip to Boston turned out to be crucial in the development of the show as Lauryn explained: 'I was in Boston on a J1 for four months and I was working in Ben and Jerry's, scooping ice cream and living in this Frat House with all these nerdy boys from MIT. 'They had rented the house out and we got this loft apartment in the house. They had a grand piano in the main house and nobody used it - it was just abandoned. So, every morning I would get up before work and I'd go down to the piano and write songs and then I would try them out on some of my house-mates. We would sit around the piano and they would ask to hear songs that they remembered so I knew it was those ones I should put in the show because they were obviously catchy.'

She put the show on in college first and then it began to tour and its success became something of a rolling snowball that is still rolling four years later. She said: 'I always wrote music and I loved theatre even as a kid so I think it was always in the back of my mind to write a musical. There was an intention there, it didn't happen by accident but I didn't plan it out either.'

Fingal Independent