You may not know her name, but you will definitely have heard Amy Wadge’s music. Her long-running songwriting partnership with Ed Sheeran has yielded numerous worldwide hits – as well as a Grammy award in 2016 for Thinking Out Loud. She has gone on to work with artists as diverse as John Legend, Kylie Minogue, Keith Urban and Camila Cabello.
Now, her soundtrack-written stage show – Eye of the Storm – returns on a six-week tour of the UK to astound audiences once again.
Winner of Best Show for Young People at the 2018 Wales Theatre Awards, and written by Theatr na Nog’s director Geinor Styles, Eye of the Storm is set in the Welsh Valleys and tells the story of 14-year old Emmie, a young carer, who’s passion for science leads to her invention of an artificial tornado for renewable energy.
Dreaming of studying tornadoes in the USA, Emmie eschews the depressing statistics of females being under-represented in the STEM subjects in schools at the moment. Her journey leads her to confront issues of climate change and the global crisis we face.
Geinor Styles (L) with Amy Wadge
Amy is certainly a woman in demand, her recording studio is adorned with gold discs, various awards and framed photographs of her hanging out with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Elton John.
So, for someone busy flying back and forth to the United States and writing songs for the likes of Ms Dynamite, Dua Lipa and Labrinth, to name a few, how did she end up involved in the theatre scene in Wales?
“I knew of Theatr na nÓg and who Geinor was, but that was it, to be honest,” Amy said. “Thinking Out Loud had literally just come out so life hadn’t gone completely crazy yet, and I got an email asking if I wanted to provide some country songs for a show Geinor was developing.
“At that point, I wasn’t going back and forth to Nashville as much, so any chance I got to write country, I jumped on it. Geinor and I met, and we connected straight away on the musicians we love.”
Amy Wadge has written for artists such as Niall Horan, James Blunt, Dua Lipa and LeAnn Rimes among others
Amy discussed what excites her about creating her first stage musical with south Wales company Theatr na nÓg, and the reason for the choice of country music in the production.
She said: “Obviously, country is usually Texas or Tennessee or wherever, but there’s something about Wales that, for me, lends itself to country music more than anywhere else in Europe.
“It’s got the small-town vibe and our character lives in a trailer park, albeit in Wales. The story talks about coming from nothing, and about hardship – the same stuff country music does.”
Eye of the Storm is a family show that confronts issues as weighty as young carers, the drop-off in girls studying science and the climate emergency, but Amy is determined her music should make it an uplifting experience for audiences.
UK tour dates
Eye of the Storm played its Asian premiere to sell out audiences in Hong Kong in January
Swansea, Grand Theatre
Portsmouth, New Theatre Royal
October 1 and 2
Birmingham Hippodrome, Patrick Studio
October 8 and 9
0844 338 5000*
*Calls cost 4.5p per min plus access charge
Aberystwyth Arts Centre