A Falkirk-born performer has enjoyed a successful transition to writer with his first musical about to hit the New York stage.
Gianni Onori (24) left Scotland to live and work in London at the tender age of 17, getting through to the live finals of BBC1’s ‘Search for Joseph’ back in 2007 and heading out on tour with ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’.
Now the former St Mungo’s High School pupil has put this experience and his studies at Glasgow Academy of Musical Theatre Arts to good use, writing the lyrics, music and storyline to his first ever musical, ‘The 8th Fold’.
Gianni, a former member of Falkirk Children’s Theatre, said: “After Joseph I took a year out to concentrate on writing my own songs and that’s how ‘The 8th Fold eventually came about.”
The story of four Americans in their early 20s who have all lost loved ones to armed conflict, the hard hitting show enjoyed a sell out crowd for one night at the Duchess Theatre in London’s West End.
Gianni said: “The idea is there is no right or wrong way to deal with something like death. It’s a very uplifting story which focuses on a year in the boys’ lives and how they help each other get through their grief.”
Set in America, the musical will now be performed at the New York International Fringe Festival in August.
“I always thought this musical belonged in America. I sent off an application to the New York Fringe and forgot about it, not thinking it would have a chance.
“Then they got back to me out of the blue and said they would love to include it in the festival.”
Gianni and business partner Tiffany Gray have already visited the Big Apple to cast the production and will return in July for four weeks of intense rehearsals before the curtain goes up.
Always busy, Gianni also has plans to create a musical on gay rights issues in the 1970s called ‘Prayers For Bobby’ and an all singing take on the life of Mary Queen of Scots.
Visit www.the8thfoldmusical.com for more.