We sit down with the one and only Nick Hutson and receive an exclusive insight into his mammoth upcoming virtual musical production - Theme Park Fan: The Musical!
Theme Park Fan: The Musical is the ingenious brain child of legendary industry leading themed music composer Nick Hutson.
Bringing the community together in a way never done so before Nick hopes to unite theme park enthusiasts in one of their hardest times by bringing to life a virtual theme park inspired stage musical.
Theme Park Fan has brought together a wealth of creative talent from across the enthusiast community involving such well loved content creators as Jack Silkstone, Chris Davenport of ScrewyLoops and even Jordan Middleton of Cupcakes & Coasters during its production.
There is however one cameo which we are particularly excited to hear, and that’s the one and only Mr John Wardley himself (known for such legendary rides as Nemesis at Alton Towers, Megafobia at Oakwood and even Stampida at Portaventura Park)!
We were therefore honoured to recently be given the (virtual) chance to sit down with the man behind the magic himself – Mr Nick Hutson and be given an exclusive peak behind the curtain (so to speak) at this truly mammoth production!
Here’s how it went!
What is Theme Park Fan: The Musical?
Theme Park Fan: The Musical is quite possibly the biggest UK theme park community collaboration project there’s ever been.
It’s a celebration of so many different people, traditions and quirks that all come together to form this wonderful group of friends.
Where did the inspiration for this highly unique project originate?
In 2018 – I wrote a song called I’m a Theme Park Fan – that was a fun parody of how theme park fans love to do vlogs and such.
It went down quite well and people kept asking me when I am going to do the next Theme Park Fan.
So, during lockdown I was twiddling my thumbs desperate to do a project – so I thought it could be a spring board for a musical.
I toyed with the idea of making this new musical project based on UK people going to their first US “Cedar Flags” road trip – but I thought it’d be more relatable if it were set in Blackpool.
And from that idea – I, and others involved, moved forward to come up with this story.
We believe the show will be presented virtually? Could you tell us a little more about what this means?
It will be an audio file the you will listen to (that will be on YouTube and the show’s website) that will feature songs, dialogue, sound effects (and a few surprises along the way) to create the “immersive’ feel of being in a theatre.
We are thrilled to be working with Aromaprime who have agreed to create a unique sent for people to purchase and enjoy as they are listening to the musical.
We are also very excited to be working with CALM and we are encouraging fans of the musical to make a donation towards it.
Aromaprime are very kindly donating all the money they make from the musical’s scent right to CALM.
Could you tell us a little more about the show's story line, setting & premise?
It’s set in Blackpool at opening weekend where a certain hybrid roller coaster is celebrating its opening!
We meet Jamie – who, like many of us, is a brand new vlogger desperate for fame!
He attends opening weekend in Blackpool where he meets many of his favourite vloggers and works out a plan to become famous!
The inspiration for him is every new vlogger or fan of something who’s desperate to be accepted into a new group of people that they idolise.
Jamie also feels the nerves, as I am sure many have, of going to the legendary opening weekend for the first time.
How did you find the process of working with some of the communities leading content creators in making this show a reality?
The idea for the cameos and collaborations came quite late in the process.
I think as lockdown showed, sadly, no sign of abating – more people were able to help and to offer their time…thankfully!
At the very beginning I worked with the amazingly talented Ryan Nixon and Owen Evans to discuss script, music and the character of Jamie.
Over time, as the scope of the show grew the obvious idea to celebrate the community would be to get the community involved as so many songs celebrate togetherness, friendship and the community – it’d make sense to have some of the ensemble numbers feature people from the community.
The score is very varied so I wanted to use the talents of community members to reflect it.
We have rap, funk, gospel, music hall, metal, marches, tangos – and even theme park music gets parodied.
Owen was amazing at doing vocals and some instrumental recording – but it makes sense that you get the ARCHNemesis to do the rap song, you get Serena Cherry (from hardcore punk band SVALBARD) to do the guitar parts of the thrash metal song and you get a load of enthusiasts to sing fun lines in the tango song.
You get John Burton to do art work and you get loads of fun cameos from so many great voices!
How did John Wardley first become involved in the project?
I’ve interviewed John a few times so he’s only a phone call away. He was very happy to do it!
Would you say you have faced any significant challenges in making this project a reality?
The hardest thing is not being able to be there in a rehearsal room to get the chemistry.
Zoom is amazingly powerful – but it can’t replicate 25 people in a rehearsal room singing in harmony.
There’s also difficulty when it comes to “note bashing” with the cast (many of whom aren’t singers).
However – we’ve still done an amazing job with what we have.
How would you say the show relates in its style to other current West End shows? Are there any you would say bear striking similarities to your upcoming musical?
I’d say Book of Mormon structurally was a big influence with its structure and irreverence – but both shows are musical comedies.
It’s certainly a hybrid between musical and theme park nerdiness.
What can we expect from the show as a whole?
I like to think a really enjoyable celebration of the community with some good jokes, loads of references, wonderful performances and some fun songs thrown in – all wrapped up in a touching story
Is there currently a date set for release and if so when
We will release it on February sixth as that would normally be the weekend we’d meet in Blackpool but can’t this year.
So – if we all can’t meet in Blackpool – let’s bring Blackpool to you!
Finally, how do you feel the show will be received by the theme park community upon its release?
I hope everyone will love it!
It’s a huge love letter to so many people, traditions with a little story thrown in.
The theme of friendship, acceptance and togetherness is more important now than ever – so that grew to be a massive part of this project.
Having had the chance to hear a little taster of what’s to come we have to say we are hugely excited to hear this phenomenal musical masterpiece in it’s entirety on February 6th!
We would also like to offer huge thanks to Nick for agreeing to grace us with this truly one of a kind inside look into this upcoming production and we really hope you have all enjoyed getting to hear more about what to expect from Theme Park Fan: The Musical as much as we have!
As mentioned earlier Theme Park Fan has been produced in support of the mental health charity CALM.
Therefore if you wish to show your appreciation for his work (or even if you just wish to support a worthy cause) then please could we ask you to contribute a small donation to his work using the following link?;
Theme Park Fan: The Musical will officially premiere on Nick Hutson Music’s official YouTube Channel on Saturday the 6th of February at 7:30PM!
Also don’t forget to pick up your custom Aromaprime Theme Park Fan official scent to further immerse yourself into this fantastic musical experience!
Once again we would like to offer huge thanks to Nick for his time and for sharing his journey with us!
On that note here’s the man himself to share a little more about his work, his chosen cause and what to expect on February 6th!
Thank you very much for reading.