Jenifer Toksvig

2016 News

Most recently as lyricist and wordsmith, I wrote several songs and a piece of spoken word poetry for Moving Stories, an event at the National Theatre in the Lyttelton, in aid of the United Nations' refugee charity UNHCR. The show featured a glorious cast including Juliet Stevenson, James Bolam, Adjoa Andoh and many others, and some great new writing by playwrights such as David Edgar and Richard Bean.

As bookwriter, I'm currently reshaping a show Alan Menken wrote long ago with bookwriter/lyricist Steve Brown, called Atina, Evil Queen of the Galaxy with Uterus, the Danish musical theatre development organisation. Our next step is a workshop in New York towards the end of 2016.

As a facilitator for new musical writing, I produce a writing event called Tiny Shows, most recently in collaboration with Women Who Write Musicals, So & So Arts, and The MTA, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

As director, the most recent collaboration was with composer/performer Niall Ashdown on the development of his show A Shropshire Lad, which is also supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The magnificent Archive is here.

In collaboration with American writer/composer Rob Hartmann, I co-designed and co-facilitate the M.A. in Writing Musicals at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London. With playwright David Edgar, I'm the co-Chair of the Theatre Committee at the Writers Guild of Great Britain, and very proud of the new Guidelines for Musical Theatre that we have recently published here.

Under the umbrella of The Larder, I'm working with the Writers Guild of Great Britain and the Musicians' Union, as well as the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, the actors' union Equity, and the Independent Theatre Council, to update all musical theatre guidelines, and then create and publish a booklet that signposts writers, composers, directors, independent producers and others to the right place for the best advice on developing new musical theatre in the UK.


The Copenhagen Interpretation

The name comes from a Quantum Mechanics theory that I can't begin to explain, but it's related to my view of the interaction between audience and live performance: that every encounter between any audience member and any live performance on any given day in any given place at any given time is unique. Much of my work is about acknowledging that, and facilitating encounters that are designed to embrace and enhance it.

The Copenhagen Interpretation is not a theatre company. It's just a description of the people and the processes I work with, in the name of finding the elusive system that is the cardboard box in which Schrödinger keeps his cat. Right now, I refer to it as Storyworlding (or Holodeck Theatre).

Here's my Tumblr, which is where I capture discoveries, thoughts and questions about it.