The Workshop – A Dress Rehearsal for Life

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Meeting at the workshop - Nigel and Randl.
Meeting at the workshop – Nigel and Randl.

Grand Opera Bangkok came to PCEC this week – three fantastic singers set the stage with a variety of numbers, ranging from Grand Opera to several original songs from this new musical titled, The Workshop – A Dress Rehearsal for Life, which premieres on 18th May at the Thailand Cultural Centre, Small Hall, in Bangkok.

The musical, which is all about people’s stories, was devised and written by the eminent life coach Dr Chérie Carter-Scott some 40 years ago. Her dream of staging a musical is now becoming a reality, both here in Thailand and on Broadway where an award winning theatre is also presenting the production.

Although Dr Carter-Scott could not attend this PCEC show, Michael Pomije, an executive life coach, and Lynn Stewart, a master certified coach and mentor, took us though the journey from the inception of the idea to the now finished musical. Today, life coaching is the second largest industry in the US.

In between the magical songs, some of them toe tapping, Lynn and Michael took it in turns to explain why it had taken so long to get the musical staged. They further explained that it is based on a universal theme of human kindness, connection and hope.

The journey began in 1974, as a little seed of an idea, when the group set themselves a series of questions to be answered. They said that this process started to open small doors like an advent calendar. By 1975 Chérie had her vision – she found that every one of her clients wanted to find the next step in their life’s path, and that through her coaching, the majority found the change to be profound. She then decided to take her workshop and make it into a musical.

The 17 songs in the show are all original and were written by Chérie and Lynn. They are all very relevant to many people in the audience. They include:

“Lady Can’t say No!”

“Change” the game about someone who wants to be recognised for who he is.

“One More Day” looks at a scenario of a couple married 30 years and about to retire. One is diagnosed with much dreaded cancer and is given six months to live.

“Please Don’t Talk” is about a US lawyer unable to express any feelings.

“Sorry” deals with the scenario of someone who finds giving presentations difficult, even though that is a major part of her job.

One of life’s moments - Lindsey.
One of life’s moments – Lindsey.

The following has been adapted from the publicity for the musical: “The songs relate the stories of individual characters who each long to obtain something specific as they share very human challenges that are brimming with the pathos and humour of the underlying human connections that employ the universal themes of wanting, fearing, risking, loss and breakdown – and breakthrough – as human connectors that touch, elevate, and inspire.”

The Bangkok version has eleven Thai actors in the show, four men and seven women, together with a support mechanism of writers, producers and directors from three countries, who are based in the US. The show will provide “supertitles” in Thai and it is suitable for all ages. It premiers in Bangkok on May 18th and 19th, 29th, 30th and 31st, finishing on 1st June.

The preview we got of the show made this a magical PCEC meeting.

If you would like to attend one of the performances in Bangkok, tickets can be obtained by phone at 022 623 838. Full details are on this website –https://theworkshopmusical.com

The cast publicity shot.
The cast publicity shot.