The story behind Andy Costigan’s book

Heart & Crown book launch

By Laura Scott

Lisa Costigan was determined to make sure that her husband Andy would enjoy his one-off birthday celebration. The classical composer was a devoted and loyal patron of the Coal Mine Theatre, a venue on New Road in Egham, Surrey, where the couple used to live.

So to thank her husband she bought a new programme at the launch of Heart & Crown, the first book to feature the Log Book in a new-style edition. Each page is accompanied by an illustration inspired by each of Andy’s symphonies.

Although her husband was not at the launch – he sadly died in 2015 – Lisa thought it was right to collect the book in his memory, and she used it to dress for her husband’s 40th birthday party, where she and the others could relive the memories of their days at the Coal Mine.

The Coal Mine Theatre, a popular venue on New Road, in Egham

Andy’s 40th birthday party would have been a real celebration of the theatre’s success since 1997 – it opened with a production of The Bridges of Madison County, an eight-minute work for a dozen voices from the Mozart faculty of the Royal Academy of Music.

Lisa said she was blown away by the reception they received at the launch party, and particularly impressed by the hundreds of signatures on the programme that she saw on the night.

“People were so pleased to share the memories of being in the theatre during those exceptional days and nights,” she said.

It was the time of the first major global pandemic and so you could hardly blame the theatre audience for being slightly nervous, especially given Andy’s neurotic nature.

Leave a Comment