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Tunbridge Wells: The Musical!

While famed as a shooting backdrop for the 1967 Tommy Steele vehicle Half a Sixpence, Tunbridge Wells has to date been largely overlooked by writers and producers of West End musicals in favour of less deserving locations. London, Paris, Brighton – even Penzance – have all been richly celebrated in song, and New York to the point of nausea, yet the delights of dear old Tunbridge Wells (other than in a vile parody by Eric Idle for Rutland Weekend Television) have received nary a mention.


The Gluten-Free Trio believe this a travesty, and so, around a year ago, began work on a musical score that would encapsulate what it means to live in this lovely town. Taking in the entire landscape, from the bustling fauxho vibrancy of “The Village” through to the poverty-stricken no-go slum areas of Oak Road and Sherwood, the musical seeks to explore all aspects of Tunbridge Wells life, and even doffs a deferential cap to the monied – old and new – occupying the many stately piles on the periphery, as well as to those living in the outlying hamlets the town has grown to encompass.


The musical, then, will offer a unique perspective on the town we are privileged to call home, and will perhaps undo some of the damage caused by BBC radio producers and their ilk with their "disgusted" stereotypes, and that blaggard Forster, with his casual assertion that Tunbridge Wells society remains ‘hopelessly behind the times'.

While the musical has yet to be fully realised in all its terpsichorean and theatrical glory, many of the songs are now completed, and The Gluten-Free Trio showcase several within the wider context of their groundbreaking variety tour-de-force. Here then, we present a small selection of song titles to whet your appetite; but a small amuse-bouche from the smorgasbord that Tunbridge Wells: The Musical! will one day deliver...        

Songs Include:

And many, many more!

  • Lovely Tunbridge Wells (theme / overture)

  • Let's Go to Dunorlan (a day at the park pt.1)

  • Stop Punting About (a day at the park pt.2)

  • When Dunty Sings (how my tinnitus rings)

  • Messing About by the Water (a day at the park pt. 3)

  • Sara is Waiting for Me (5:15 from London Bridge)

  • Thin Ice, Baby (skating toward disaster)

  • Royal Victoria Place (shop till you drop)

  • A Cinema Site for Sore Eyes

  • Skinners' School Dinners

  • The Tropicana (disco delight, it'll end in a fight)

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum

  • All That Jazz on the Pants

  • Grey Lady Down

  • She Didn't Get into Tw(i)ggs

  • To the Trinity and Beyond

  • An Uncommonly Lovely Common

  • Half Past Five at Local & Live

  • Wrecked in the Rec

  • Yummy Mummies on Parade

  • Is it Gluten-free?

  • My Joint is Swinging Tonight (jazz on the pants pt.2)

  • Something in the Water (chalybeate cha-cha)

  • Gettin' Spanky in Sankey's (blame it on the oysters)

(in no particular order)

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