Interviewer: You' re artistic collaborator on the production, what did this role involve?
Charles: Well Mark Dornford-May and I have been working sort of hand-in-glove for the last seven or eight years, probably longer than that, certainly the last seven or eight years in South Africa. What happened originally, about 2000, 2001 was that he and I got this unique opportunity to go out to South Africa together and form a completely new company of South African talent, to provide a platform for the amazing jewels of vocal talent in particular which is to be found there. I mean I would put my hand on my heart and say South Africa is the most musical country in the world. So we were there like a shot. We went right around the country, usually in very remote places and we auditioned over 2000 people, and pulled together a company of 40 people. 40 of the most gifted individuals most of whom had never been in a theatre before, but all of whom had been performing to an incredibly high standard since pretty much the age when they' d learnt to walk. So the love affair with South Africa and working very closely with Mark was fundamental all the way through. Now we came to the current production of Christmas Carol I took slightly more of a back seat, although I composed a good deal of the main tunes of the show which we superimposed. People on the ground developed these tunes and rehearsed around them and I just kind of dipped in an out when I was able to just keep an eye on things.
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