Alan Charles talks Love, Sax and all that Jazz
STW Love Sax and all that Jazz is currently touring the UK and has been a phenomenal success everywhere it has been shown. The play has already had two sold out shows in London and many more crowds have filled venues up and down the country. So how did Love Sax and all Jazz come about? Love Sax and all that Jazz was actually supposed to be the title of my third album. I wanted to do a live recording where I would share my thoughts in poetry and rhymes on relationship issues in front of an audience. I was about to put the wheels in motion, somewhat hesitantly, when I started to ask myself some questions. Should I do a one man show? Why should it be just poetry and rhymes? Then it came to me, divine inspiration I’d like to think, “Love Sax and all that Jazz needs to be a full production incorporating music, drama, comedy and poetry and rhymes.” I took my material and turned it into a script and so Love Sax and all that Jazz, the stage play, was birthed. STW So what is the play all about and how did you come up with that title? It’s just a creative play on words. The title could read “Love, Sex and all that Drama”, which instantly tells you what to expect if you come and see the show but that was too obvious and I turned it on its head, so to speak. Interestingly, some people still look at the word Sax and read it as Sex, which can be a positive but it is sometimes a negative depending on who is reading it. STW So there is no Sax and no Jazz? No. But that’s where the play of words comes in. There is some sex and plenty drama but it’s from a Christian perspective. Love, Sax and all that Jazz is based on the relationship of four female sistas and their individual relationships with us – the brothas. So we have Louise who can’t find a decent man in the church and is considering one outside the church. Then there is Shanice who is physically and mentally abused by her husband. The other character, Kelly, is caught between two brothas. And then we have Lisa who is the sister who is single, happy to be single but is being pressurised into finding a man. The play looks at their situations and shows how they deal their issues. STW So you are dealing with some serious issues in the play? Yes. The script does touch on some subjects that our churches tend to push under the carpet at times. It looks at the man shortage in the church; fornication in the church; divorce in the church; and unfaithfulness in the church. Wow, that sounds depressing now that I’ve said it out loud! However, the show is sprinkled with enough humour, upbeat music and positive anecdotes to leave the audience cheery but with much food for thought.
STW You have received some rave reviews from members of the gospel press. Dulcie Dixon, BBC radio Leicester, says “Thoroughly entertaining you will laugh from beginning to end” and Mike Rimmer, Editor of Gospel Link, says “A rare production that has you thinking and laughing at the same time.” How were you able to combine such serious topics with entertainment and laughter? Two words… my cast. Yes, it’s my script but the cast have brought the play and its characters to life. I have some of the most talented individuals in the UK in the cast, and they present the characters in a real and honest way. I think the humour comes from the fact that everyone in the audience – male and female – can see a little bit of their own character, life experience or situation being played out on the stage. And when you are able to relate to a particular situation on stage, laughing at yourself is all you have left! Nothing is sugar-coated either, we just give it to you as it is and the audiences love the honesty of the show because it is so close to reality. Time and time again people tell us, “I can relate to that scene or that character.” We have testimonies from people who have said “I am in that situation and I didn’t know what to do but I do now” or “I was procrastinating about my situation but I know what I need to do now”. STW So is the play a gospel/ Christian play? It is a play that promotes Christian values. Period. It addresses relationships issues from a biblical and moral viewpoint. Therefore it is clean family entertainment for both Christians and non-Christians and everyone and anyone can enjoy the show. In fact it’s the kind of show that you can bring your non-Christian friends and family to as an introduction to Christian fellowship.
STW You have had some success in the theatre with your previous play, “I Am Getting There”, and some regard you as the Tyler Perry of the UK. How do you feel about that comparison? I feel uneasy when that comparison is made. I also think that it’s disrespectful to Mr. Perry to even mention our names in the same sentence. This is not grasshopper mentality speaking, I acknowledge my calling and the gifts that God has given me. I also know that the plans He has for me are huge and higher that the highest human thoughts can reach. But Tyler Perry has done dozens of plays and dozens of films and he is a worldwide brand! So the comparison, while flattering, is a bit unfair and premature. STW Thus far you have staged the show in Birmingham, Luton, London and Nottingham. Where will you be going next? We are going national and digital! We currently have dates for High Wycombe, London (again), Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. But we are mostly excited about our trip to Trinidad in October. I mean the UK locations are good, and the UK audiences are the best in the world, but Trinidad has the weather! Seriously, the cast and I have been invited by the University of the Southern Caribbean to perform the play in Trinidad at the end of October. And digitally, your readers should also look out for the DVD recording of Love Sax and all that Jazz, as well as the compilation CD of songs and rhymes taken from the show. STW I also understand that the show was recently featured on TV. Yes, it was. The entire play was recently shown on Gayelle TV on SKY channel 195. It was awesome to watch something that I had created being aired for the whole world to see. The whole world does have SKY, don’t they? LOL! STW So what can people expect from the show Love Sax and all that Jazz? A fun filled, edutaining [that’s educational and entertaining], uplifting and refreshing evening of songs, music, drama, poetry that will have you laughing all the way home. For more information on Love Sax and all that Jazz UK tour visit www.focusarts.com
MZ Could you briefly enlighten us about Noel Robinsonâ€™s background? I grew up in the Church of God of Prophecy. My father was a musician in the local Harlesden assembly and taught me how to play the guitar at the age of 6 years old. Most of my formative years were spent in church playing music. I studied classical guitar, piano and double bass the later, getting me involved in the local orchestra. I become church and district music director in my late teens, becoming involved in choirs nationally. My music ministry began to take on international responsibilities, playing guitar at the General headquarters in USA, and I began to travel interdenominationally, playing and meeting many of my contemporaries. One such occasion meeting a young John Francis and the inspirational choir, I became a guitarist for this UK choir travelling extensively in Europe and The UK. MZ You are now known as one of the UKâ€™s pioneering worship leaders and along with Nu Image have produced some outstanding praise and worship songs, tell us more about your ministry. My gifting as a musician opened the doors to my worship ministry, both nationally at events such as Spring Harvest and Soul Survivor and internationally meeting and working with the likes of Graham Kendrick, Morris Cerrullo, The Hawkins, The Winans, Charlie Peacock, Fred Hammond, Ron Kenoly, Israel Houghton, plus many more too
numerous to list here. MZ Can you tell us about Kingdom Worship Movement, how did this movement come about? As I ministered and experienced worship in many different places, I noticed that worship had become quite formula driven and that our expressions had caused us to create patterns or worship styles. I believe that these things caused much cultural divisions, as people were not given the diversity of expression in the Body of Christ. I started dismantling what defined me culturally including musical styles and began to incorporate what I saw as a multicultural, multi-ethnic and diversity of Gods expression. I called on national worship leaders and shared what God had shown me prophetically about impacting the heart of this nation and raising up a worship movement that was not dictated to by any style, but was impacted by the Spirit of God. MZ What is the difference between Nu Image and KWM? Both are ministries that are part of my life. Nu image was formed as a collective of singers and musicians who travelled with me some 18 years ago and where taken from many church backgrounds, we were a inter church group. Kingdom Worship Movement is as it name implies is a worship movement that is a resource both practically and spiritually to the Worshippers in this generation. MZ Can you enlighten us about the event Renewal? The Renewal event is a vehicle that God is using to impart and empower worshippers across the Globe. Its primary function is to bring together lead worship leaders of different
streams to impart to the delegate both practically and spiritually. We have had 4 Renewal events with some 3000+ people attending over 3 cities London, Manchester and Birmingham and are looking to expand these meetings to several other cities. We’ve had the best worship leaders of this nation offering practical workshops and impartation. MZ ‘Somebody Please Help Haiti’ was penned by yourself and Israel Houghton and was originally recorded in 2009 and feature on the ‘One Voice’ album, what was the inspiration behind the song and what was that day of recording like? As an ambassador for Compassion UK, I travel to many countries doing charity work with them, seeing and meeting Children who are born into difficult family situations. This opened my eyes to the plight of those young people who would have a future, but by sponsorship. Thus, I was writing with Israel for the one voice project and one of the songs that came out was ‘Somebody Please.’ Both of us are from backgrounds that without opportunity may have had us doing different things. But we wanted to give a voice to those people around the world who’s voice was lost in the noise of their circumstances. The song was written as if we were in their place and asking the world to be their justice, we are excited that the song was chosen to represent the voice of Haiti in its time of devast-ation and loss, we hope that it will raise money and not just aware-ness, to help with the rebuilding of a society that needs our Christian compassion and help. It was a very special day at Abbey Road, the historical Mecca of British Pop music
MUSIC ZONE NOEL ROBINSON culture, as some 250+ Christian artists came together to record the single ‘Somebody Please help Haiti’. The guys at One Voice, Les and Lawrence did a great job in bringing the artists together and music genius Nicky Brown was brilliant on the arrangement of track. MZ Are you currently involved in any other projects you can share with us? I am involved with Global Day of Prayer and we have a Renewal 2010 album that we have recorded for release this year, feat Graham Kendrick, Lara Martin, Mark Beswick, Sonny Badu, Madeleine Kerzner, Donna Akodu, Ben Cantelon and myself plus live worship extracts from the conference both Audio and video it’s a fantastic album that truly captures the live worship and prophetic expression of all who attended. As well as started to record a new album project for Noel Robinson...Look out for September and we are planning with a 12-date tour of major UK cities called ‘Let it Rain’. MZ What does the future hold for Noel Robinson, KWM and Nu Image? The future is bright I have been in music ministry for over 25 years and I believe that for every season that my revelation of God has grown deeper, I want to continue to be on the cutting edge of Music and worship ministry. KWM is committed to bringing the Renewal Conference to the Key cities of the UK there is talk of Europe and even South Africa, we are talking about a KWM Academy!! And also just to simply empower the people of God in worship to enhance the heritage of worship that was started in the British Isle. I would like take this opportunity thank all those who have inputted into me both spiritually, financially and physically. |All the singers, musicians who have made Nu image and inspired a generation of musicians and worshippers in our churches. All the record labels Kingsway Music and Integrity Music, and all the Men of God and ministries who have encouraged me in difficult times and also to Sponsors and friends of KWM who have dared to dream a new day with me. Let the Renewal Begin In Me! MZ Thank you for taking the time to share with us. For more on Kingdom Worship Movement and the Renewal events visit www.thekwm.co.uk The song for Haiti ‘Somebody Please Help Haiti’ can be downloaded from iTunes, Amazon and Play.com
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