The Rags to Riches story
The Rags to Riches story consists of two seasons of 6 episodes each. It is peopled by a cast of colourful characters played by professional actors, and featuring multi-award winning actress Alex Borstein (The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, Family Guy)!
In Season 1, the band members (April Showers, Max Volume, Bootsie Rollins, Frankie Fingers and Slick Beat) are introduced in humble surroundings before their success. Then one day a message arrives via social media inviting bands to submit a demo song to a national ‘battle of the bands’ competition. The band win first prize: a free recording session produced by guitar legend Saul Doubt. The song they record is heard by Owen Cash, head of Fast Talk Records, who offers them a recording contract. The road to fame has begun. Meanwhile, a romance is blossoming between singer April Showers and guitarist Max Volume…
Season 2 opens with the band on a punishing European tour, supporting the world-famous Wrong Direction. An invitation arrives to take part in the TV talent show Fame Factory, the winners of which will represent the United Kingdom in the Eurosong Festival. A friendship emerges between April and fellow contestant Bruno Mercury, to the dismay of Max. Rags to Riches duly win both contests and are rewarded with the opportunity to star in a new sci-fi film, Space Rangers by renowned Hollywood director Gaynor Noska. The film is a flop and further doubt is cast over the band’s future when news reports arrive of the tax-evading exploits of their boss, Owen Cash. Can anyone step in and save the band in their darkest hour? And will April choose Max or Bruno?
Rags to Riches is a contemporary story set in the UK. There are no references to real events. Social and political criticism are part of the 'bandscape' and provide a backdrop to parts of Season 2, but no specific details are given. The series is politically neutral and care has been taken to balance socio-political viewpoints expressed by characters in the narrative. These are sometimes used to stimulate debate in communication activities.
The dialogue is built around the language scope of the episode, and designed to feature examples of the key grammar and vocabulary focus, as well as idiomatic expressions, functional language, ‘cool phrases’ and (in Season 2) phrasal verbs. Each episode builds on the last in terms of linguistic range and complexity.
Alex Borstein (Gaynor Noska, Taylor Maide, Maya Pinyon) is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Lois Griffin in Family Guy and Susie Myerson in The Marvellous Mrs Maisel. In 2013 she was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-over Performance for the former and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress for the latter in 2018. In 2019 she won the Critic's Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series and a second Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for The Marvellous Mrs Maisel.
In Rags to Riches she plays 'Battle of the Bands' presenter Taylor Maide in Season 1. In Season 2 she plays both legendary Hollywood director Gaynor Noska and Fame Factory panellist Maya Pinyon.
Ella Galt (April Showers) Ella is an Australian actress and improviser who has been studying, performing and teaching theatre for over 13 years. She earned a B.A. in Theatre Studies at Monash University, Melbourne and her performance experience ranges from improvised and musical theatre to voice, theatre in education and dance. Now in Barcelona, Ella performs and teaching improv comedy, and works as an actress and voice over artist.
Adam Jacques (Max Volume) is an actor, musician and composer from mid-west UK. He studied Musical Theatre at the London College of Music and now works in Barcelona in theatre and film. As a composer he also writes for musical theatre.
Daniel Ewing (Frankie Fingers/ Luke Hughes-Wright) is an actor, singer and voice over artist from London. He has performed in various theatre and film productions in both London and Barcelona, including Escapade Theatre's 1984 (Winston Smith), Alice in Wonderland (the Mad Hatter) and as Hunter in Jocular Theatre's Title of Show.
Mark Aspinall (Saul Doubt / Owen Cash / Anton Deck) is a Manchester-born TV, cinema and theatre actor. His film credits include Sahara (2005), Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit (1990) and he has appeared in many British TV series including Coronation Street, Brookside, The Practice and The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.
Jan Clayton (Grace Note/ Carrie de Wey) Jan Clayton is a Barcelona based English theatre/voice actor and movement director for children and adult shows with over 25 years experience. Audio and live work include A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Government Inspector, 1984 and Matilda.
Oliver Holmes-Gunning (Bruno Mercury) is a Barcelona-based actor who has appeared in various drama and musical theatre productions with companies such as Aula de Só and Teatre a l'Ombra, including Grease (Danny Zuko), Hair (George Berger) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Lysander).
Simon Davis (Tone Deaf) is an English musician, voiceover artist and freelance translator based in Barcelona, where he has lived since 1986. His voice can be heard on a number of promotional videos in the tourism and leisure sector.