That's the official name. Otherwise known as the Two Kayes (or KaK, depending on how you feel about our work).
At the most basic level we are Kaye Vincent (words) and Kaye Tompkins (music), but we cross over, contribute, influence each other and argue. Lots. Usually about the placement of a tiny lyric that will never be noticed, but we have an uncanny connection on things that really count. We see and hear theatre with the same sensitivity and present early efforts to each other with the shyness of children offering gifts.
We started working together in 1999 and our collaboration and friendship have miraculously survived, despite numerous theatrical endeavours and the stresses they bring. Each has been celebrated, as they have brought us incredible joy.
When developing a piece of musical theatre, I tend to start with a raw script and early lyrics.
"I've had an idea...!" say I.
"Oh no, no, no. Please, no more," begs Kaye T.
Yet, she produces the first few musical numbers at great speed, reworking lyrics to flow with the music. We get together and refine, fill gaps in the lib and decide where the peaks hit the narrative. The music solves many a riddle in the script, allowing for huge cuts in dialogue (a good song can do as much as five pages of dialogue) and gradually the piece begins to emerge. We've learnt over time that six months is not long enough, but anything more than 12 months to first draft makes us impatient.
However, the only way to truly shape the songs and narrative is to work with a cast. This is not always easy, as any public performance comes at a cost, not just financial, but emotionally and physically too. Our efforts only provide a platform, other creatives add the finesse. The work is never really finished. We often rework sections post-production, delete scenes and send the work off in all directions.
We are managed as The Writing Team, and as independent artists, through The Sharland Organisation. Performance and reproduction queries about our works must be directed through our management.
To every person that has believed in us, supported us, sponsored us, seen our shows, worked for us, performed for us, backed us and cheered us on, we thank you with all our hearts. Our obsession comes with immense self-doubt and trepidation too, but over the years we've listened to a great deal of constructive criticism and advice. We've learnt many lessons, but without the support and encouragement of those who believe in us, and help us believe in ourselves, we would not still be trying, still creating. You all know who you are and we are lucky to have met you. So many people genuinely care about our efforts and you all give us courage - we are in your debt.