The Big Book for Girlsby Joe Walker
11th August-3rd September 1994 / 9th August-1st September 1995
Original cast: Sharon Gethings, Helena Lyons, Alexandra Lilley, Helen Wigram, Natalie Walter, Harriet Scott, Caroline Joscelyne, Jo Emery, Claudia Sermbezis, Tamera Howard, Max Rubin, Stephen McCreadie, George Symes
Original Music by: Nick Brace & Benjaminn Till
Musical Director / Assistant Director: Benjamin Till
Produced by: The National Student Theatre Company
Directed by Ian Ormsby-Knox
Performed by an ensemble consisting of the cream of the nation's student actors, The Big Book for Girls won several awards, and garnered the most extraordinary reviews in the two years it was at the Edinburgh Festival.
It also introduced Benjamin to a set of life-long friends, and gave him some of his most treasured memories, the most comic of which was watching a float packed with over-enthusiastic five-year-olds, dressed in newspaper and waving like imbeciles. Their float was snaking round the back streets of Edinburgh on its way to the big festival parade. Five seconds after they disappeared round a corner there was a clap of thunder, and the most almighty downpour. A minute later, the float drove at top speed in the opposite direction, the five-year-olds now crying and screamig. Their newspaper costumes had turned to papier-mache!
In 1994, Benjamin also appeared in the show as a nine-year-old recorder-playing "fag" called Bertie Flood.
"The a cappella singing is executed with panache, and had the audience whooping with delight." (Scotsman)