Material relating to the music and production consultants on 'All Change' (1976-1977).
The Stantonbury Campus Drama Group decided on Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger as the projects music consultants and Peter Cheeseman as production and dramatisation consultant.
In February 1976 Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger met with members of the group, and discussed their work in documentary drama and in particular the ‘Radio Ballads’.
During the weekend of the 10th – 12th September 1976, Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger presented songwriting seminars and workshops at Stantonbury Campus. Using extensive examples from their own work they described the structure of different types of songs and their usefulness in documentary drama. This was followed by a public performance by MacColl and Seeger at Stantonbury Theatre on Saturday 11th September.
Prior to the Sunday morning workshop a preliminary group meeting had been held to compose songs based on the contents of three sets of documents. These documents referred to important local history events, two of which occurred in the 19th century.
Ewan and Peggy had asked the group to work on their own songs which were then presented for criticism at the Sunday morning workshop. The quality of the music and the songs composed was very encouraging and eight songs were produced over the weekend.
After the song writing workshops the group began to look at the content of the research and discuss the story. There would be no attempt tp make explicit comparisons between 19th century Wolverton and the new city of Milton Keynes. It was felt that the impact of the historical material would provide the audiences own reactions and that the title ‘All Change’ would be equally applicable to the dramatic changes in both the 19th and 20th centuries.
The wealth of material made it very difficult to decide what should form the basis of the story. A consensus was reached that they would concentrate on the middle years of the 19th century. As a result they presented material to Peter Cheeseman, appropriate to this decision when he came to the campus for his second visit on the 16th and 17th October.