Introducing the Motley Rat Sisters, the cheekiest pair of sister-from-another-mister rats you ever did see!
One of the many characters played by Thompson (Tom Williams) and Finnegan (Stan Skinny), the Motley Rat Sisters are cheeky, fun, and love a good dance.
As a lot of the material in Club Bazaar was based on the limited resources our fictional characters had, Thompson and Finnegan had heard an old scratched record from the 1940’s they based their song on; on hearing this old boogie-woogie record, they wrote their Motley Rat Sisters Duet which they performed at Juliet’s dismay.
The harmony is typical of a boogie-woogie style piece, taking inspiration from the 12-bar-blues. The plucked violin imitates a walking bass line commonly heard by the double bass, and the salted snare was played with maximum salt to imitate the sound of brushes on a snare. The record the Motley Rat Sisters heard was scratched, but to the untrained ears of this duo they didn’t realise this wasn’t a musical intention. The last bar of the dance is repeated over and over, with a slight jump on the first beat, imitating this scratched record they have heard.
I wanted both Thompson and Finnegan to really take the form of squeaky small mice, so the song is written very high for the two equally as high (tall) men. Sang in falsetto, this cheeky little number goes right up to a G5, emulating the squeak of a mouse. The duo are singing this song to show off and annoy Juliet, so I started with pauses on the first three notes that gradually slid up 2 octaves, showing just how high they can sing.
In rehearsal, I tweaked the final bar of the song, as Ben (director) wanted the emphasis to be on the word “show” and not on the word “you.” Makes sense, so to meet what he wanted I prolonged the time “show” was sung for, and ended “you” on the highest note of the piece. You can check it out below!
Featured Image: Pippa Atkinson