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The Story

A story of passion, murder and

possible redemption with some of

the best, most comical and most

dangerous characters in London

Listen to Soho Dreams Trailer
00:00 / 05:48

Listen to the audio trailer for Soho Dreams

Hear about the story, the life, the characters. 


‘You said I could be free, free like a song, a song with no verse; like a bird with no wings, a violin with no strings!’
Samantha Serraillier in the song, ‘This Is My Life’.

Samantha Serraillier is the intriguing, engaging and mysterious personality at the centre of Soho Dreams. She says she longs for freedom.

American, English, Liverpudlian?

Did she really steal a song from Cole Porter, does she really long for family, marriage and a life away from Soho or is Soho, in fact, her only dream?

Her world is changing fast and Samantha knows she has to make a choice and get control: can she?

This is a fast moving story of love, passion, murder and possible redemption.


It is set inside the infamous Night Owls club (a door off Greek Street) in 1980s London just as the music turns from punk and revolution to New Romantics and Quincy Jones. As Thatcherism takes hold in Britain and Reganism in America and as Scotland Yard attempts to clean-up the city and end corruption ahead of the ‘Big Bang’.

As the Night Owls prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary with big names from the world of theatre, TV, show-business


and even American movie stars as well as the regulars from the law, police, journalism, church and even the odd Royal – something is in the air: treachery.

Michael Peters from Irlam in Salford, stumbles into the place and into a world he doesn’t understand or like.


He finds himself the centre of Samantha Serraillier’s attentions and as he goes to exit, he discovers the door is blocked.


Soho is a place where you can be anyone at anytime or anything but are the people who make it glorious, edgy, dynamic and captivating in control or being controlled?


Along the way we see fabulous choreography, meet superbly drawn loving and comedic characters and we meet the people who need to keep their show running.


Albie is a lawyer by day but a drag queen by night; Tommy and The Nose sing to their crime victims and Jack worries about his ‘Manor’ falling apart under police pressure. Something he must stop at any cost.

Inspired by the story of Mary Magdalene and Bizet’s Carmen, Soho Dreams turns into a ‘whodunnit’ and tests loyalty time and time again as well as challenging the portrayal of the woman at the centre of the story and others who want to be someone else.


When they get the chance though, can they ever fulfil their Soho Dreams?  

Audio Trial

The Creators


Rob McLoughlin


Mark Russell

Rob McLoughlin is the son of an Irish Liverpool Docker and a school cleaner who grew up with a desire to tell the story of Samantha Serraillier and the Night Owls in the heart of Soho. (


He wanted Sammy to be the central character and he wanted to explore what happens when a young woman is seen and portrayed in one way by the men around her and how she has to fight on a daily basis to be seen in a different light – a light created by her.


Inspired by the story of Mary Magdalene he wanted to explore head-on the limits imposed by a male dominated world and to see what happens when those restrictions are removed and there’s a chance to escape.


He wanted to tell the story in a 1980s setting as the world of music, politics, policing and life was changing fast and in a dramatic, musical and at times comedic way but to hold on to the central struggle of the main character. He also wanted to devise a trilogy to mark the changes in the power balance between men and woman and people who identify in different ways.


Rob first mentioned this concept to a young music student called Mark Russell ( Russell) when they met at Derwent College at the University of York.


Mark Russell is the son of a Church of England vicar was a school-boy chorister with a love for music. That love would take him to Hollywood to the major TV networks in the UK and US including NBC, BBC, ITV and on to the era of the streamers from Netflix onwards. He would compose some of the best scores for some hugely popular film and TV shows..


It would also take him to BBC Radio Three where he and the late Robert Sandall would host the ground-breaking world music show ‘Mixing It’ for 17 years.


Ultimately it would bring him back to the concept Rob shared with him as young students.


Rob would go on and become a popular presenter for Granada Television, one of the first hosts on BBC Radio Five Live and work for ITN and even the tough investigative series ‘World in Action’ before eventually becoming a Board Director of Granada (part of ITV plc).


In 2015 they came together in Oxford and wrote the first song of Soho Dreams – ironically the final number in the show – the rock and gospel influenced ‘This Is My Life’ sung by Samantha Seraillier.


‘Sammy is a fabulous, complex and wonderful character. Like my Mother she refused to except limits imposed on her by the men around her. However Sammy pays a price for her desire to be different and to encourage others to be themselves. She can do that inside Soho but can she do it in the real world?. For me that’s the engine which drives the concept and show’ said Rob.


‘The more we developed the songs and created the setting, the more I could hear the characters such as the enigmatic Albie come alive and the more I could understand their desire to change the world they occupied yet it’s a world they flourished or drowned in and somehow relished’ said Mark.


‘Each song has to capture the excitement but also the dilemma of life in a big capital city which never stops and where it’s often impossible to know if you’re winning or losing’.  


‘Soho Dreams is definitely a piece to keep returning to as it tells so many stories in one show’.    


First song completed

'This Is My Life'


Lockdown Rehearsals

and auditions for Zoom workshops/audio recording


Song and Book complete



The Other Palace


Autumn Showcase



"This Is My Life"

​The first single from show with ‘Child’ following and

then a six-song EP


Behind the scenes

Eavesdrop into rehearsals for Soho Dreams London Showcase

The Development


Watch as the cast rehearse and record for a successful showcase in late ’22 at The Other Palace in London, England.


The purpose? To allow refinement and for the first time to give the creators the opportunity to hear the mix of music and story for the first time in a ‘live’ session.

The music (16 original songs and score) was recorded song-by-song over a 4 year period using superb performers such as the Actors Philip Pope (‘KYTV’ ‘Only Fools and Horses’ ‘ ‘Hee-Bee Gee Bees’); Jonathan Kydd (‘Harry Potter’ ‘Mr Bean’) alongside the wonderful

Lindsey Cleary ( (The Saw Doctors; ‘Eurovision’, ‘Top of the Pops’), the incomparable Chris Madin (‘Strictly Come Dancing’ BBC1; ‘X-Factor’ ITV). Musicians included Georgia and Simon Russell with Ryan Robinson on lead guitar, Paul Robinson on drums and George Hogg on brass.     


The ‘young’ cast (mainly recent graduates from the acclaimed Scottish Conservatoire in Glasgow) along with seasoned professionals Chris Lyne and India Amos were assembled by Michelle James (performer and producer) and Rosie Parker.


As soon as the law permitted they gathered in a radio studio in Manchester (Quest Media, Ashton-under-Lyne) and recorded the show for the first time ever, that recording led to the Lowry Theatre in Salford giving the thumbs up to a special showcase for 2022.


The cast included starting performances from Grace Martinson as Samantha Serrailier. Conall Ross as Michael Peters, Harry Mills as Albie and ‘The Nose’ plus Owen Landon  with Chris Lyne as Harry ‘The Flash’ Goodman and India Amos as Sharmina.

The Songs

1) Overture

2) Blue Skies (Tommy and cast)

3) Send me Soho Dreams (Michael)

4) Whiskey and Rye (Samantha)

5) Love Tonight (Michael and cast)

6) Child (Samantha)

7) Am I a man (Albie)

8) When I look in the mirror (Samantha/

 and Michael) 

9) Burning Bridges (Jack)

10) Show me the exit ( Samantha)

11) Reprise



13) Reprise

14) Streets of Soho (Tommy and cast)

15) Too beautiful [for this place] (Samantha)

16)  Michael (Samantha)

17) Goodnight, God Bless Samantha (Michael)

18)  Lord don't forsake me (Michael)

19) This is my life (Samantha and cast)

20)  Reprise

Music and lyrics by Mark Russell and Rob McLoughlin


Lord Don't Forsake Me by Mark Russell, Danny McLoughlin and Rob McLoughlin.



Samantha Serrailier

Samantha is just 23 when we meet her; she is tall, beautiful, slim and with a dark skin tone.


She has two key qualities which make her irresistible to many, especially men who meet her, she appears wise beyond her years.


In truth, her ‘wisdom’ is from the streets and predominantly the streets of Soho where she has spent most of the last few years. We don’t know where she originated. She will tell some that her Father was an American Sailor who met her Mother in the port City of Liverpool and hence Sammy’s ‘Mid-Atlantic’ twang mixed with a London/Soho brogue but she will tell others that her Father is unknown and her Mother of African heritage. We don’t know for sure, she won’t say.


Sammy gives little information away, she is friends with everyone, especially Albie (also known as Suzanne ) who she adores and considers ‘brave’ for his struggle with his gender.


We know little about her ‘back story’ though we learn she has children, despises much of her life and longs to escape – but to where and does she really have children?. We discover the truth as the story develops – or do we?


Sammy is ‘hostess’ of the Night Owls Club and sings regularly, which is her true love. Her voice is distinctive but untrained and raw which makes jazz her favourite medium. Her long love affair with Jack ‘Flash’ Goodman is convenient for her – no more.


For Jack, Sammy is a trophy.


Michael Peters

Michael is tall, handsome, Northern (born near Buxton in the Peak District but grew up near Salford in Irlam) and is 26 years old when we meet him, three years older than Samantha.


Michael was a rugby player, was a police cadet but injured and unable to progress to the professional ranks. He has spent the last few years in the burgeoning world of computers and specifically computer sales.


He grew up in a Roman Catholic family and this has left a deeper impression upon him that he would like to admit; he’s dismissive of religion but not entirely and in despair prays.  


He moved to London just six months before we meet him when he stumbles into The Night Owls Club as a guest of Tommy ‘The Bruiser’ Wall who he met through a mutual friend.


Michael believes he can ‘handle himself’ in most situations but is about to discover his limits. Successful with the ‘girls’ he runs away from relationships and commitment that is until he meets Samantha – he is captivated by her voice and looks.


His years as a Police Cadet and his ‘faith’ may be about to be tested.


Tommy ‘The Bruiser’ Wall

Tommy is our narrator and the first Soho resident we meet.


‘The Wall’ is a petty but lovable rogue who is used by Flash and others for minor work because they are ‘looking after him’.


His Father, long dead, worked with ‘Flash’ and has his first born, Flash feels a duty to look after the boy.


Sharp suited and witted, Tommy is of slick appearance and loves to pretend that he’s ‘in the loop’ ‘the know’ and one of London’s up and coming gang leaders.


In reality the 25 year old is naïve and the Police watch him like crazy as he reveals a lot of information almost by accident.


That’s the Police who aren’t secretly co-operating with Jack.


Jack ‘Flash’ Goodman

The head of one of London’s most notorious crime families.

Jack is never to be crossed.

He is 40, feared and respected in equal measure.


He knows that the heyday for the gangs was an earlier age and its time to go legit but he struggles to make the crossover preferring ‘coppers on my books and coppers in my pocket’.


Sammy is just ‘one’ of his women but clearly his favourite. Jack has no children (though does refer to a 'little Jack' and to a 'her') but he claims he will ‘choose’ one of his girls to be the Mother of the next generation of the Goodmans. Sam may have other ideas.


He treats people on his side ‘well’ but he rules with an iron hand and that includes the comings and goings of the Night Owls where he likes ‘the right clientele’ to be present, ‘No riff raff from the Eastend’ are his orders.


He is suspicious of strangers and takes an instant dislike to Michael, maybe he can smell a threat’ or even a Police Cadet?


The Welsh owner of The Night owls is the man entrusted to make sure the ‘right clientele’ frequent the club.


He is on Jack’s payroll but mainly because his clientele of police, judges, pimps, prostitutes, gangsters and punters provide real intelligence for Jack who probably, probably is the real owner of The Night Owls, but it suits them all to have Parry and Samantha as the front people.


Parry is late 50s, speaks fluent Welsh and English with a Splott accent (an area of Cardiff) and limps.


The limp is fake but allows him to boast about being a ‘getaway’ – in truth the only getaway he’s ever had is to Pembrokeshire.


The Nose

He is Jack’s Bodyguard.


He is 52, slow, overweight but boy can he sing and dance and loves the Night Owls. He prefers to punish people by singing out of tune but he can hold a note.


The Nose is big and bent and while he has been in some ‘difficult’ moments with ‘clients’ he is gentle and often warns Sammy about Flash’s moves.


‘Play him, Princess, play him’ he tells her ‘You’re his favourite and one day when Jack is gone you’ll be well looked after’.


‘Where’s he going?’ ‘Come on Sam, how long do London Heads stay on the streets. Play him, you’re his favourite and then when he’s gone, life and riches will be yours’.




Tall, Thin, Confused. A would-be Drag Queen thrilled to learn that Danny La Rue (the famous British drag-artist) is to visit The Night Owls to mark its 10th anniversary and sing....hopefully with Albie.


He is a Barrister by day and useful to Jack. He could get silk but prefers to wear it on a Saturday night when he occupies the bar stool dressed as Rachel or Carol. 


‘I long to be as beautiful as you Sammy. Maybe in my next life’.    

Albie has never been in a relationship of any length and longs to be accepted as a woman.


The gangs like him but think he’s ‘queer’ – ‘I’m not, I just love women and want to be one’.



New waitress and assistant at The Night Owls.


She is of Indian descent. She grew up in Brixton and is street savvy. She will warn Michael of the risks he faces but will she help him or help herself?


The Night Owls   


A word for THE ‘place to visit in Soho’.


The big names ‘drop in’ after their London shows from Sinatra to Dean Martin.


Danny La Rue (the famous British Drag-Queen) to the pop stars of the day including The Rolling Stones and Beatles to new stars such as Boy George and George Michael. It’s been on Greek Street since 1958 as first The Go-Joes and then Rimley’s and is simply a place where time stops when you walk in and hours just fly by.


It became The Night Owls a decade ago and Parry plans a star studded celebration which sadly, goes horribly wrong. 


Visit by all means. But plan your exit.

The lighting is low; the colours are mainly red and black with    a saloon bar feel. Parry dresses the waiters stylishly in waist coats and bow ties and the women in short red and black burlesque style outfits with stockings and smart black shoes.


On a good night Francis Bacon, John Hurt and comedian Ronnie Corbett can drop by.


All the staff and the live band are talented performers and dancers – waiting to be discovered.

Press Reviews
NEWS: First Song & Video Released for New Musical Soho Dreams

Lisa Driver, MI

Six Song - Soho Dreams
EP released: 
‘THEY SOUND FANTASTIC’ Bernie Keith discuses the Music from Soho Dreams on BBC Radio Northampton 
BBC Radio Northampton interview 21.6
00:00 / 17:14
Rob McLoughlin talks Soho Dreams and his partnership with Mark Russell on BBC Radio Surrey plus BBC Radio Kent and BBC Radio Sussex - May 2024.
BBC Radio Surrey Interview BBC Surrey 2
00:00 / 09:12

Lisa Driver, MI

more to come....



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