Album cover by Mark Burrell
Set in the present day, The Magic Bookshop is about a small dingy rundown city second-hand bookshop, The Sole Antiquarian, inherited by the reclusive proprietor from a Victorian ancestor, who originally 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.
The Magic Bookshop may be classed, hesitantly, as an opera in that the story is told entirely in song.
Story, Music & Lyrics by Nick Murray Brown
Run time: 2 hrs 50
In 2013 Nick recorded an album 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.
Jeff meets his first customer of the day.
With Richard Louis Ainslie as Marc.
Marc is given the chance to redress his biggest regret by meeting a girl from his past.
With Richard Louis Ainslie as Marc and Joanne Knight as Suzanna.
No One Holds a Candle
Later in the story, family man Lionel, who has been reconnected 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 real and fictional aspects of her existence.
With Tony Scannell as Lionel and Angeline Hunt as Isabelle.