This handsome pair (such a subjective word isn’t it, handsome) are John Myatt and Simon Arrowsmith. They are the two creative cornerstones of the Broken Cabaret world. They are the writing and theatre-making team that, together with digital producer Jonny Arrowsmith, bring new ways of telling stories to the masses. Well to the few, but the masses will surely follow.
Broken Cabaret was born, although not named, in 1997. John and Simon took an instant dislike to one another whilst both working as writers on a local magazine in Manchester. Well Simon took an instant dislike to John. He felt that John was doing everything he ever wanted to do. He was writing and producing theatre. At the time he was doing this in Manchester. Simon was from the theatrical world having worked in the West End and also taken his Live Arts work around the country since graduation in 1993. But John, John was doing it. “Really doing it.” So Simon decided that John was the sort of person he should dislike.
Of course, thankfully, that narrow mindedness didn’t last. And with their paths continually crossing it wasn’t long before the feud was dead and buried. Which of course was news to John because he had no idea that there was a feud in the first place.
They started off slow in their collaborations. Writing sketch comedy and the occasional funny song. But it wasn’t long before the sketches became plays and the songs became musicals. Both continued to work on their own pieces, with John winning awards and both obtaining Masters degrees in the creative arts and writing. Collaborative projects were often started and then left in the faggot pile of lost art works. (It doesn’t just mean that – look it up!) That was until fate brought them both down to London at the end of their 30s and the start of their 40s. Time to get serious.
And serious is what they done got. Bringing in Simon’s husband Jonny (that’s him the other picture looking dapper) and the team at Grow the People to focus them on story and organisation. They revisited previous works and developed the show that is now called Something Something Lazarus. It’s been a long road with the odd bump along the way, mainly the ones that Simon makes up about feuds that don’t exist. Coupled with Jonny’s further involvement in building the world beyond the stage, Broken Cabaret are starting to nudge at the forms they live and admire, trying to bring about a new (kind of) musical.