Our Exclusive Interview with co-creator Dean Collinson

B&TEOA: 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.

B&TEOA: 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?

Dean Collinson: 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 CD.

B&TEOA: What exactly was your part in writing the show . . . did you do the script, the songbook, or both?  Or was this completely your baby?

Dean Collinson: 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).

B&TEOA: 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?

Dean Collinson: 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.

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 inspired?

Dean Collinson: 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 :-)

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!

Dean Collinson: 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 :-(

B&TEOA: 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?

Dean Collinson: 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 :-)

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?

Dean Collinson: Bill sings that to Ted when he believes he has been killed by the medieval dude.

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?

Dean Collinson: 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.

B&TEOA: What projects are you currently working on?

Dean Collinson: 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 www.deancollinson.com

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!

To join the Dean Collinson Fan Club, click here!

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