our current show
For Love Or Money
A funny, fast-paced, bitter-sweet modern musical theatre set in 1728 in London: the story of the dashing highwayman Captain MacHeath, with his (main but not necessarily his only) lovers; Polly Peachum and Lucy Lockit.
Mr Peachum and Mr Lockit control the lives of Macheath and the local criminals – either locking them up in Newgate prison, or impeaching them (turning them in) to get money from the government.
The themes are love and hardship, loyalty and betrayal. These comical characters reflect the all too modern-day problem of how “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer”.
This performance opens with the framing device of a company of actors facing a new script. Through their banter we understand when, where and how play is set
The first heartfelt song “What’s in it for me?” by the chorus establishes the dual nature of this show: highly entertaining and catchy on the surface, but thought-provoking underneath.
Meet the creatives
Rob Parker - Composer and Musical Director
Rob was born and raised in Bedford and spent much of his life living and working in Bedfordshire, including 8 years as Head of Music at Sandy Upper School during which time he wrote the first performance version of ‘For Love Or Money’.
In that distant past he was also Musical Director to the Bedfordshire Youth Theatre, Bedford Operatic Society and several other local performance groups in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Rob had the chance to compose and musically direct for theatre shows touring both the East and West coasts of the US, he also wrote the original score for the 2010 production of ‘Nocturnes’ for Piper Theatre in Brooklyn, New York.
This led to Rob and Laura becoming part of Piper Theatre’s educational programme and they have been proud to create powerful youth theatre with amazing people in New York over several years including performances of King Lear, Macbeth (with the music of The Rolling Stones) and an original interpretation of Anthony Burgess’s novella ‘Clockwork Orange’ called ‘Clockwork Unwound’. He is very happy to become involved once again in the Bedford musical theatre scene and he is very excited to be reviving ‘For Love or Money’ with the Bedford Marianettes.
Laura Parker - Lyricist / Director
Laura is delighted to be directing “For Love or Money” for the second time after 19 years, especially this new and improved version.
As an experienced Drama teacher, Laura has led or been part of excellent Performing Arts Departments for almost 30 years in a variety of schools from Scotland to the South coast and back again to the home counties.
She has worked with hundreds of students – some of whom are part of the Bedford Marianettes today!
Laura’s attraction to the arts has led her to perform in musicals and plays, and then onto writing and directing. As part of production teams she has also designed costumes, set and props and invented some superbly accessible choreography.
Past shows include: Teechers, Jane Eyre, American Idiot, Playhouse Creatures, Funny Girl, Avenue Q, Les Misérables, and Romeo and Juliet. Performances have been in our own Bedford, at the Edinburgh Fringe, toured to Germany and America.
A proud achievement was being invited with husband Rob to work with the Piper Theater Education program based in Brooklyn. Over three years productions were an adapted King Lear, a physical theatre Clockwork Unwound, and in 2018 they were let loose weaving the music of the Rolling Stones into a version of Macbeth.
She hopes that this revised version of For Love or Money is thoroughly heart-warming, a little thought-provoking - and that the Marianettes are proud of this new show.