Mon, 15 Jul, 2019

Fun and morality, hand in hand

A humorous version of the legendary story of Noah and the flood is set into a musical ‘Eric the Ark’ by Martin Emslie applying different styles of music for today’s youth

28th October 2018, 03:45 Hrs


The story of Noah and the flood is legendary. It appears in all the Abrahamic religions and is the basic moral message of ‘The good will be saved and the evil will be punished’. A new musical, ‘Eric the Ark’ based on the Noah and the flood story has been written and set to music by Martin Emslie. This will be the first non-UK performance of this work. A UK based musician, composer, conductor and examiner, Martin is much in demand as a freelance church organist and choir director.   

‘Eric the Ark’ is as unrealistic as the Hollywood blockbuster versions of the story but is meant to be portrayed with fun as well as morality. The show is packed with memorable tunes varying from Reggae to Rock ‘n’ Roll, blistering power ballads to comic patter songs and lots of laughs. It’s a new musical for a new age!   

This ‘Sound of Music’ fame music director was on a Goa visit recently to conduct a master class for Namah Chorale as well as examinations for London College of Music students in Goa and mentioned that he will be staging this musical in Goa in October. Keeping his promise he is here with the play for the Goan audience. When writing ‘Eric the Ark’, Martin has included different styles of music so that there will be something that everyone enjoys.   

Speaking on music he admits, “Music has always been a part of my life. I studied the subject at school and started teaching guitar at the age of 15. I became a production engineer manufacturing military aircraft when I left school but kept music as a hobby. It was not until 2002 that I left engineering and turned to music as a career.”   

The story goes like this - Noah and his wife live with their three sons and their wives and try to live a good life. Unfortunately, the townsfolk are very rowdy and not very nice people. Noah is concerned that there will be some retribution because of their bad behaviour. Noah finds a strange object which turns out to be a mobile phone and auto-dials ‘Deity-Line’. As a result of the call he gets a visit from the Assistant Prophet for Horrendous Impending Disasters (Aphid) who tells him of the impending flood. He is going to have to build a big boat to save his family and all the animals and asks for help, which arrives in the form of Eric (Executive with Responsibility for Impossible Constructions).   

Noah is a bit confused by the plans for the ark, but with Eric’s help, he and his family start to build the ark, but they are mocked by the townsfolk. By mistake the ark is named ERIC. A bad weather ensues and the family are concerned about leaving all their friends to drown but eventually they get on board the ark with all the animals. The storm batters the ark but they are all safe inside. After many days of rough seas, the wind abates and they are left alone on an endless sea.   

Gradually the water starts to recede and they send a raven and a dove out to see whether dry land has started to appear. Eventually the ark runs aground and they are all saved to start a brand-new life.   

A fellow of the London College of Music in Goa Martin has visited India to conduct a number of examinations for acoustic guitar, electronic keyboard, violin, popular music vocals and drums. A highly skilled musician specialising in piano, electric organ, synthesiser, church organ, classical, folk, electric and bass guitar, examining is only a part of his musical life as he runs a large successful choir in the UK and plays pipe organs in churches and cathedrals. He has been the musical director for over 50 musical productions and performed in many major venues such as Westminster Abbey and The Royal Albert Hall in London.   

(Registration is open to all at and in addition, passes will be available at the venue on October 31)   

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