Album cover by Mark Burrell

The story, set in the present day, is about a small, dingy, rundown city second-hand bookshop, The Sole Antiquarian, inherited by the reclusive proprietor from a Victorian ancestor, who presented it as an attraction with a travelling fair. The books hold a mystical and time-travelling power, each one able to fulfil, as a work of fiction, their unwitting reader’s deepest secret.

A fairground theme provides intimate dream-like metaphorical reflections on relationships, fragility, regret, death, love and sex amid the environment of the modern world. 

Story, Music & Lyrics by Nick Murray Brown
Run time: 2 hrs 50

In 2013, Nick made a cast recording of the musical, told entirely in song, with the following cast:

Lionel                Tony Scannell
Marc                  Richard Louis Ainslie
Louise               Donna-Maria Jones
Suzanna           Joanne Knight
Isabelle             Angeline Hunt
Karen                Sharn McDonald
Young Lionel    Luke James
Jeff                    Nick Murray Brown

4 songs from the musical:

The Magic Bookshop
Opening number with Proprietor Jeff and Company.

That One
Jeff meets his first customer of the day.
Featuring Richard Louis Ainslie as Marc.

Ambling Along

Marc redresses his biggest regret by meeting a girl from his past.

Featuring Richard Louis Ainslie as Marc and Joanne Knight as Suzanna.

No One Holds a Candle

Later in the story, customer and family man Lionel, who has reconnects with his first true love as a youth, Isabelle, is haunted by love and guilt. Isabelle, who took her own life when he left her, is trying to come to terms with the realistic and fictional aspects of her existence.

Featuring Tony Scannell as Lionel and Angeline Hunt as Isabelle.