The Independent London Newspaper

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Risqué secrets of Soho with a bit of Britpop! - New musical sees Tim Arnold team up with actress Lisa Dillon

Musical team: actress Lisa Dillon and singer-songwriter Tim Arnold, collaboratin

Published: 11 February 2011
by JOSH LOEB

A SOHO singer songwriter has teamed up with an award-winning actress to create a new musical about Westminster’s most risqué district.

Tim Arnold, 35, who was a member of Britpop band Jocasta in the mid-1990s, finished writing Secrets of Soho with Lisa Dillon early last year.

The pair, who met eight years ago while Ms Dillon was at RADA, say their project is “about the guts beneath the glamour, the diamonds in the dirt”. 

They hope it will eventually find a home in a West End playhouse so people will step out onto the streets of Soho after watching it.

Mr Arnold said his ideas for the show had been taking shape since he was 19 but that he and Ms Dillon began writing in earnest after being encouraged to do so by a producer from Bill Kenwright, the company behind Blood Brothers.

He said: “It’s my life’s work. There is humour in it but it’s fairly tragic and Brechtian. 

“It’s about a young girl growing up in the area and is a bit like Oliver set in the sex industry.”

Ms Dillon plans to start auditions and rehearsals for it after she has completed her run as Lucy in David Eldridge’s new play The Knot of the Heart which opens at The Almeida in Islington next month.

The actress, who is currently starring in A Flea In Her Ear at the Old Vic, said: “This has been the first professional piece of writing I’ve done and is some­thing that I’m very proud of.”

Mr Arnold is the third generation of Soho performers in his family. His grandad was a comedian at the Panama Club in the 1950s. 

His mother, Gillian Arnold – better known as Polly Perkins – was the daughter of theatrical parents Dickie and Mitzi and was a Windmill girl at the Windmill Theatre while still in her teens. 

To keep up to date on Secrets of Soho see www.secretsofsoho.com

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