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The Year Without A Summer 2023.jpg


- In concert at Above The Arts Theatre, 2018
- As part of 'Herstoric' at

The Drayton Arms Theatre, April 2nd- 6th 2019


“An outstanding performance by this exceptionally talented cast…Their hurt and anguish are performed with so much empathy and conviction. "

"The new musical scores brought a fresh feel to the musical genre… Drake’s writing and directing skills have excelled.”


“An enlightening and educational evening, and an entertaining one too.”


“Men needn’t switch off, the feminism has a light, bright touch… Nikola McMurtrie’s choreography was top class, lyrically reflecting dance of the day, along with nods to modern ballet and ably performed by the cast… After all, Les Mis had to start somewhere.”

LISTEN to a taster of the show here.


Written & devised, with original songs, by Rhiannon Drake

A contemporary musical,

featuring the poetry & writing of Mary Shelley, Harriet Shelley (née Westbrook),

Fanny Imlay, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and more;
and the music of Beethoven & Schubert



Mount Tambora has recently erupted.

Climate change and widespread famine are displacing millions.

Amidst the devastation,

some of Europe's greatest minds set to work creating their masterpieces...

Byron's poetry

Beethoven & Schubert's music

Turner's sunset paintings

Shelley's sonnets

But how did they become so brilliant?

And what of the women in their lives?

Led by Mary Shelley,

whose masterpiece 'Frankenstein' was written the same year,

'The Year Without A Summer' offers up a musical examination of several much-loved 19th century characters,

through the eyes of the women closest to them.


Incorporating music and poetry from that same year, alongside original songs,

the audience is given a female perspective on the huge technological, artistic and literary advancements made in 1816.

Listen to a 10 minute taster of the show here.




Drayton Arms, 'Herstoric' 2019:

Terry Burns, Emma Bretton, Rebecca Dawson, Kate Hume,

Ben Irish, Amy Lynch, Aemilia Owen,

Jordan Veloso, Lara Sas, Fed Zanni


Rhiannon Drake



Nikola McMurtrie

Lighting Design:

Adam Squire


Set & Costume Design:

Rhiannon Drake


Sound Operation:

Phil Marriott

Development Cast, 2018:

Kathryn Brewer, Helen Hart, Ben Irish, Katie Jones,

Aemilia Owen, Rebecca Ridout, Jordan Veloso,

Marc Verter, Fed Zanni


Will Maynard

Concept Album, 2018:

Kathryn Brewer, Terry Burns, Tom Grant, Helen Hart,

Katie Jones, Callum Meville, Lauren O'Neill,

Aemilia Owen, Rebecca Thorn, Eddy Smith

Mixed by Andrea Adriano at Transformer Studios

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