Interview with co-creator Dean Collinson
First tell us a little something about yourself, your background and how you
became involved in songwriting and acting, etc.
Dean Collinson: My
name is Dean Collinson. I have been involved as a writer / producer
/ singer / actor in the music and entertainment industry for 18 years. As
a writer I have written a No. 2 (90) record in the UK and a No. 5 (93). I
have also won the Vivian Ellis awards for new musical writers twice and been a
finalist on a third occasion with my writing partner Mick Walsh.
Now I am a London, West End Actor with credits for creating the role of Amos in
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Whistle Down the Wind.
How did the concept of doing a musical for Bill &Ted's Excellent Adventure
first come about? I'm guessing you were a fan of the movies to begin with?
In 1992 I was introduced to the movie by my producer while recording a solo
album for Arista records. Of course it blew me away! Then I was lied
to by a London musical producer who told me he had the stage rights to the movie
so off I went with my writing partners Mick Walsh and Gene Jacobs and wrote the
What exactly was your part in writing the show . . . did you do the script, the
songbook, or both? Or was this completely your baby?
I wrote 80% of the music including the main theme and 20% of the lyrics and 33%
input on the book (which due to rights problems hasn't been redrafted as yet).
I understand the show was staged for the Edinburgh Festival. For those of
us outside England (and the theatre biz), could you explain to us what this
festival is about? And how many times was the show actually performed
before an audience?
The Edinburgh festival is a showcase for new musical, play and comedy
shows. We performed it every day for 3 weeks to a 100 strong audience
every day. Of course it was a huge hit there due to the cult reputation it
has in the UK.
B&TEOA: You did an
excellent job capturing the sound and feel of the music of the late 80's, plus
you also came up with very fitting songs for the historical figures (not to
mention Grim). Can you give us some insight as to how those tunes were
I am a man of the 80's and felt each character had to have a 80's style pastiche
to them; i.e. Sigmond Frood dude was based on Shout by Tears 4 Fears ...
Regarding putting Grim in the
Show we felt the shopping mall scene was too movie orientated for stage so the
mongol hoards destroy the phone booth as it leaves Mongolia and crashes in
downtown Hell where B&T have to play the Grim Reaper best out of three ...
five ... seven ... nine ... until God interrupts and turn the studio audience
and the ghouls against him so in order to get the duo back he makes them all
join hands, gets his ruby slipper out and they all chant there’s no place like
home . . . there’s no place like home :-)
B&TEOA: Can you give us
an idea of the kind of reception the musical received when you performed
it? I understand it even won an award!
I have two top London producers and a Broadway producer interested in putting up
to four million into the show but unfortunately the original writers feel the
music should be more heavy rock than 80's pop. (Unfortunately heavy rock
doesn't sell theatre tickets) so they are making a few problems for us to
acquire the stage rights :-(
Having heard the soundtrack CD, but not having seen the show, I'm curious to
know more about the plot. Obviously it's similar to Excellent Adventure
with a few elements of Bogus Journey thrown in (the Grim Reaper, for
instance). Can you give us a synopsis of the storyline?
The story line is basically B&T needing to pass their history report but as
I said we tried to make it more stage friendly by introducing the Grim
Reaper. The script as yet hasn't had much time spent on it as the rights
issue has to be cleared up before too much time is spent on it. However I
have had a meeting with Bill S. Preston (Alex Winter) who has expressed interest
in directing the show as he now works a lot in London as a video and film
director and Keanu Reeves who has offered to put some money into the production
B&TEOA: The song
"Don't Surrender" is one of the most beautiful songs about friendship
I've ever heard. What is going on during that scene . . . I get the
impression this comes before Bill &Ted somehow die and go to Hades?
Bill sings that to Ted when he believes he has been killed by the medieval dude.
B&TEOA: Are there any
plans for Bill &Ted's Excellent Musical Adventure to be produced
onstage or at least made available for others who may wish to stage it?
If you can help in anyway with the contacts you have in your fan club I would be
more than grateful as this show could revolutionize theatre as we know it
because it is accessible to every age group and both sexes equally. It
could be a worldwide hit and make lots of money for spreading the word of peace
firstly on our planet then like the gruesome twosome the galaxy as we know it.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have just finished writing a rock /pop version of the Little Mermaid
based on the original Hans Christian Anderson tale, not the sickly happy ever
after Disney version.
For free downloads of more of my work go to
I truly hope my answers are
non bogus for your great wisdom, my bodacious searcher of truth, serenity and
the philosophy of meditation benefits in air guitar playing.
Many thanks to Dean for
answering our questions and for giving us permission to offer the downloads of
the music from the show on our site!! Click here for those!