A Spoonful of Sherman: Q & A

Mark Read, former A1 band member, gives us an insight into the fantastic new musical stage show!


What’s ‘A Spoonful of Sherman’ about?
It’s a show that takes the audience on a journey through the lives of legendary songwriters the Sherman Brothers.  We celebrate their music – which we grew up listening to – and other generations of Sherman family music: from their father Al Sherman, who wrote hits for Frank Sinatra and many, many others, to Robbie Sherman, Robert Sherman’s son, who’ll be joining us for some of the tour.

What do you do in the show?
As one of the cast of 5 performers, I'll be narrating, sharing the stories of the Sherman family with the audience, and of course singing and acting out these fun and unforgettable songs. I'll also be playing piano on several numbers and the ukulele might make an appearance too!

When did you first discover the music and songs of the Sherman Brothers?
I've always been a huge fan of the Sherman Brothers songs; I don't remember a time when I didn't know the songs of the Jungle Book and Mary Poppins; they've been with me my whole life and they played an integral part in inspiring me to become a performer and songwriter. 

What are your top 5 songs from the show and why? 
Before we started rehearsals my answer would have been:
1. 'That's What Friends Are For’ from The Jungle Book, as the vultures were based on The Beatles with their strong Liverpool accents, yet they sing this number Barbershop style which I love, and it's one of the highlights of our show for me.
2. Then I'd pick 'Feed the Birds' from Mary Poppins; my mum used to play this on the piano so beautifully when I was younger, which was one of the reasons I started playing piano, at age 4.
3. Then Step in Time, as I would sing that around the house all the time as a kid, and to this day, anytime I hear someone saying 'what's all this?!' I start singing 'Step in time!'
4 & 5. And two more from Mary Poppins: I Love To Laugh, and Jolly Holiday. Ed Wynn and Dick Van Dyke are just amazing in the scene. Mary Poppins was without a doubt my favourite movie musical when I was little, closely followed by The Jungle Book.

What do you like most about being on tour?
I've been touring all over the world for close to 20 years now, with my own band (A1) and various other shows and I love having the opportunity to travel and visit new cities and performing for amazing audiences every night. It's an absolute thrill and honour to be a part of this show and I know that audiences of all ages will love it. 

Favourite on-the-road anecdote (not necessarily from Sherman!)?
It was amazing doing a two month tour of every prefecture of Japan, similar to the Sherman Brothers travelling around the whole of America when they were younger.  I got to see more of Japan than most Japanese people do in a life time!  In each city we were greeted by fans who knew I was a big Disney fan so I was given several Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh toys everywhere we went, and came home with hundreds of them, which I've still got. 

Why should people come to see the show?
There's so many fantastic songs to sing along to and enjoy in this show, some that the audiences may not realise that they already knew them and I'm sure it'll bring memories of their childhoods and the films they heard them in back to them and I've no doubt they'll go home with a smile on their faces, and a song in their hearts, what more could you want? 

Find Us

The Playhouse Theatre, 126-130 High Street, Weston-super-Mare
BS23 1HP