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Camden Fringe: 17-year-old pens musical tribute to his much-missed beloved mum

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 July 2015

Sean Thorpe with his mother, Clare.

Sean Thorpe with his mother, Clare.


Bridget Galton talks to King’s Cross teenager Sean Thorpe about his debut show, Mother’s Day The Musical.

King’s Cross teenager Sean Thorpe has co-written a new musical in tribute to his mum Clare, who died in 2012.

Mother’s Day The Musical runs at The Rabbit Hole in Hampstead from August 6-8 as part of the Camden Fringe and features 10 songs penned by Sean in ecclectic musical styles - from orchestral to rock.

“It’s the first thing I have written,” says the 17-year-old.

“When my mum passed away it had a big impact on our lives and I started writing songs about her and the problems she went through. My dad had the idea of putting her story into a rock opera like Tommy, in remembrance of her.”

Clare had a history of abuse, homelessness and mental health problems and was just 33 when she died from a heart condition, leaving behind Sean and his two sisters, the youngest just two.

“She was very energetic we didn’t see any problems or think she was ill. The night before she died she was lively as usual then in the morning I found her, she was dead.”

Clare had told Sean stories about her difficult early life which he and his older sister have worked into a story he describes as having a “Mike Leigh feel to it.”

“It was upsetting to find out those emotional and traumatic stories of when she was a child. They were not happy stories. She was beaten by her parents, her schoolwork was ripped up so she wouldn’t get anywhere in life, she was kicked out and became homeless.”

But he hopes that although he found it hard to write, there’s an upside in the show, as Clare finds happiness with her own family.

“I found it very emotional to write this. It’s my way of grieving and saying she’s missed, not forgotten, still part of us, still with us.”

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