When Luke Bateman and Maz Evans hatched the idea for H.R.Haitch in 2015, inspiration was never too far from their finger tips. Scrolling back in time, our 2015 news feeds were full of royals and politicians alike with Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest-reigning British monarch in history, the birth of Princess Charlotte (fourth in line to the throne), and a general election for the first time in five years which secured David Cameron a second term as Prime Minister.
Inspired by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton), Luke and Maz ran with the idea of another “commoner” marrying into the royal family mix. However, for H.R.Haitch, the pair wanted to explore what might happen to the dynamics if that commoner happened to be a mixed race East Ender girl who works in a pub. Out of this idea came Chelsea, the heroine of the story who faces issues of class, celebrity, patriotism, politics, race, and social values.
After H.R.Haitch’s 2015 workshop, Chelsea and the rest of her fictional family sat idle waiting for their big entrance as we at Iris searched for the right moment to unleash them. Then in 2018 came the moment all had been waiting for, His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales (Prince Harry) announced his engagement to American Actress Meghan Markle. In a nut shell, Ms. Markle is a biracial Los Angeles girl so it was easy to see a bit of Chelsea in Ms. Markle. So with the royal wedding just around the corner, we knew it was time to bring a fully staged version of H.R.Haitch to the stage because there will never be another moment more relevant than now for Chelsea to sing her story.
Did Luke and Mary predict the future? Technically no but as Oscar Wilde penned, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life“.