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Principal Edwards Magic Theatre was a 14-member communal performance art collective in the United Kingdom made up of musicians, poets, dancers, and sound and lighting technicians.
The collective was originally formed at the University of Exeter in the late 1960s and then was later based at farmhouse in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The group was signed to John Peel's Dandelion Records and their single, The Ballad of a Big Girl Now, was released in 1969. Following the single was the release (under the same label) of two albums - Soundtrack and The Asmoto Running Band - the second of which was produced by Nick Mason of Pink Floyd.
The sometimes whimsical, sometimes epic (verging on progressive rock) writing style of guitarist Root Cartwright was paired with the eclectic lyrical contributions of David Jones, Gillian Hadley and Monica Nettles, and was performed by vocalist Vivienne McAuliffe. The violin and recorders of Bindy Bourquin were another key element of the group's trademark sound.
Later, with a smaller nucleus (including new bassist Richard Jones from Climax Blues Band) and a name-change to, simply, Principal Edwards, they recorded a few new singles and a third album called Round One for Deram Records. Most of the Deram recordings were also produced by Nick Mason.
Since the 1970s, members' fortunes have varied greatly. Singer Martin Stellman directed Denzil Washington in For Queen and Country, David Jones ran a community centre, and Root Cartwright became a gardener and photographic artist. Bindy Bourquin and Richard Jones married and both went into teaching. Jones plays in two bands: The Climax Ceilidh Band and Meridian.
Jeremy Ensor toured (as sound engineer/tour manager) with the likes of Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, and Greenslade (co-producing two of their LPs) and then worked as an A&R man for CBS and Phonogram Records. He currently lives in North London and is an IT consultant.
Chris Runciman is still on the road as a tour manager/production manager and sound and lights engineer for Jackson Browne, Steve Earle, and James Taylor. He has recently been working as a technical consultant to Sir George Martin on the island of Montserrat.
Les Adey was the lighting technician for Genesis.
Serious illness and breakdowns have befallen some of the other former members, and dancer John McMahon Hill and the angelic-voiced Vivienne McAuliffe are both deceased.
01. Average Chap
02. Halibut Rock
03. Milk & Honeyland
04. The Whizzmore Kid
06. Dear Mrs. O'Reilly
08. The Rise Of The Glass White Gangster
Produced by Nick Mason
Recorded De Lane Lea studios Wembley