ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE TURBINE THEATRE PAUL TAYLOR-MILLS ANNOUNCES FULL MUSICAL LINE-UP FOR THE NEW MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL MTFESTUK 2021

The Turbine Theatre’s Artistic Director, Paul Taylor-Mills, announces the exciting and diverse new musical selection for this year’s MTFestUK 2021The line-up includes: Far From Heaven, #50days, TONY! (A Tony Blair Rock Opera), The Man In the Ceiling, Millennials, HouseFire, Cake and Daisy.

A celebration of new musical theatre, MTFestUK 2021 runs from 1– 13 February and sets out to promote quality artistry with a view to showcasing and elevating projects to full production, giving audiences an insight into the process of creating new work and the art of collaboration. Paul Taylor-Mills launched the inaugural MTFestUK season at The Other Palace in 2019, followed by a 2020 season in February this year, at The Turbine Theatre.

A huge mix of exciting creative talent is involved including Tasha Taylor-Johnson, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Drew McConie, Caroline Kay, Matt White, Thabo Stuck, Harry Hill, Scott Frankel and Poppy Burton Morgan.

Casting will be announced in due course for all productions.

 

Paul Taylor-Mills, Artistic Director, Turbine Theatre said “It’s impossible to ignore the challenges and sheer nerve required to make any kind of announcement during these times. With all that in mind, I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with The Turbine Theatre and everything that it stands for, particularly with regard to investing in and generating new work. It’s fair to say that MTFestUK 2021 is going to be our most diverse to date and I’m thrilled to be presenting musicals from first time writers, alongside Tony and Olivier award winning artists. It’s the range of talent involved, and each individual musical’s journey so far that makes MTFestUK such a unique and supportive environment. A place where artists are able to create and play with musical concepts. We were inundated with submissions and the quality and passion to get new work on is alive and kicking both in the UK and beyond. I’m proud that The Turbine Theatre is able to give writers and composers across the world the space to develop their work.

 

Additionally, The Turbine Theatre’s first pantomime, Cinderella: The Socially Distanced Ball, will be available to stream online from Wednesday 16 December until Friday 1 January 2021. It will cost just £12.50 to stream the production from www.turbinetheatre.com

MTFESTUK 2021 MUSICAL PRODUCTIONS

FAR FROM HEAVEN

1/2/3 February 2021

Book by Richard Greenberg

Music by Scott Frankel

Lyrics by Michael Korie

Directed by Matthew White

Based on the Focus Features/Vulcan Productions motion picture written & directed by Todd Haynes.

Cathy Whitaker seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother in 1957 suburban Connecticut. But roiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel, with incendiary consequences.

 

With a score that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical, Far From Heaven is a powerful story of romance, betrayal, and intolerance, as a woman grapples with her identity in a society on the verge of upheaval.

Richard Greenberg is an American playwright and television writer known for his subversively humorous depictions of middle-class American life. He has had more than 25 plays premiere on and off-Broadway and eight at the South Coast Repertory Theater. He is perhaps best known for his 2003 Tony Award winning play Take Me Out. The play premiered in London and also ran in New York.

Scott Frankel worked as a music director, conductor and pianist on and off-Broadway. He then became a musical theatre composer, notably through collaborations with lyricist/librettist Michael Korie. Their musical Grey Gardens premiered Off Broadway in  2006 before transferring to Broadway. Frankel received a Tony Award nomination as well as the ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award and The Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition.

Michael Korie is an America librettist and lyricist whose writing for musical theatre and opera includes the musicals Grey Gardens and Far From Heaven,  and the operas Harvey Milk and The Grapes of Wrath. His works have been produced on Broadway, Off Broadway and internationally. His lyrics have been nominated for the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award, and won the Outer Critics Circle Award.

 

#50DAYS

1/2/3 February 2021

Created and written by Thabo Stuck

Musical Supervisor Duramaney Kamara

Directed by Ajjaz Awad

#50days is a Grime Musical which tells the story of the period when the very foundations of England were shattered. It is December 1641 and King Charles is about to be formally challenged by a handful of MPs and radical commoners, who share the belief that ALL men are born equal. Many in England, now a Protestant country, are enraged by the notion that the French-born Catholic Queen Henrietta and King Charles are ruling over them. One of these critics is John Pym, a Member of Parliament and prominent opponent of Kingship, who issues a challenge to the King’s power. In a world ruled by men, who are the women in this story? What are they fighting for? Through propaganda and shrewd political manoeuvring, the nation is about to be plunged head first into a conflict that pitted neighbour against neighbour and shattered the very core of our constitution.

#50days creator Thabo Stuck, challenges the notion of how history is discoursed.

“This is an interpretation of British history told through the eyes of underrepresented Brits today.”

#50days is Thabo Stuck’s debut musical. Thabo is an historian, a history teacher at The BRIT School, currently the Lambeth Baylis Trustee at The Old Vic Theatre and a Grime/UK Hip-Hop enthusiast. A lifelong Lambeth resident, Thabo has watched Grime grow from the underground into the mainstream. A big believer in multi-sensory storytelling, #50days is Thabo Stuck’s vision of how events from the past can be discoursed in the now.

 

Ajjaz Awad-Ibrahim trained as an actor at RADA and ALRA and during her training she was awarded The Laurence Olivier Award Bursary. Since graduating, her recent theatre credits include: Zorro: The Musical (The Hope Mill Theatre), How Not To Drown (Traverse Theatreand Another Star to Steer by (Brighton Dome). She has also recently appeared as Sian Evans in Holby City and various characters in Big Finish Productions of Dr Who. In recent years she has turned her hand to writing and directing, having just completed The Tamasha’s Playwrights Group and The Royal Court’s Playwrights Group, she had her first scratch of a play at The Soho Theatre: Mixed Feelings, which has recently been longlisted for The ETPEP AwardAs a director, she was the Assistant on Parallel:Yerma at The Young Vic and was the recipient of The RTYDS Award for the production of Good Dog with Tiata Fahodzi. Her most recent directorial role was for the production of Race Today at The Bernie Grant Arts Centre and Crossing Wires at Theatre503.

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TONY! (A TONY BLAIR ROCK OPERA)

4/5/6 February

Book and Lyrics by Harry Hill and Steve Brown

Music by Steve Brown

Director Peter Rowe

Musical Director Sarah Travis

A reckless reappraisal of the life of former Bad Rumours front man and Britain’s first pop Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The story of how one man went from peace loving, long haired hippy and would-be pop star to warmongering multimillionaire in just a couple of decades.

An hilarious tragedy of political intrigue, religion, power and romance that plays fast and loose with the facts, owing as much to Citizen Kane as it does to The Marx Brothers – Karl and Groucho.

Throw in a cast of larger-than-life characters – Cherie Blair, Princess Diana, John Prescott, Peter Mandelson, Alistair Campbell, Osama Bin Laden, George W Bush, Saddam Hussein, Gordon Brown and of course that dodgy dossier.

All set to rockin’ tunes.

Harry Hill has won numerous awards for his stand-up comedy and TV Shows, including 3 BAFTAs in a career that has spanned almost 30 years. He also wrote ‘I Can’t Sing!’ The X Factor Musical with his friend Steve Brown.

Steve Brown is a composer, lyricist, arranger & record producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in British TV, radio and theatre for over 35 years.

His theatre credits include Spend, Spend, Spend!,  It’s A Wonderful LifeI Can’t Sing and Magic Goes Wrong, television credits include The Goes Wrong ShowThis Time With Alan Partridge (BBC), Spitting ImageSM;TVDead RingersNew TricksMy Parents Are AliensNot Going Out and countless others.

The records he has produced include Seasons of my Soul by Rumer for Atlantic, MOBO winner LAURA MVULA and Sing to the Moon for RCA.

Steve has had a long term working friendship with Harry Hill completing several UK tours and providing all music on ITV BurpThe All New Harry Hill Show (ITV), Alien Fun Capsule and Teatime for SKY. He also composed the songs/score on Harry Hill The Movie.

 

THE MAN IN THE CEILING

4/5/6 February 2021

Music and Lyrics Andrew Lippa
Book Jules Feiffer

12-year old Jimmy Jibbett would rather be a successful cartoonist than be in 7th grade. His father disapproves. His mother is busy. His uncle tries to understand but is too wrapped up trying to write a love song for his next flop musical. Where can Jimmy turn for inspiration and hope? Maybe THE MAN IN THE CEILING can lead him to his true destiny…If only Jimmy would look up!

A collaboration between Jules Feiffer, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist and celebrated author, and Tony-nominated composer-lyricist Andrew Lippa, The Main In The Ceiling is an uplifting tale about following your creative passion against all odds.

Andrew Lippa is a composer, lyricist, singer, actor, conductor, and record producer. His “Unbreakable” had its world premiere with The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus in June 2018 with 300 artists on stage, including himself. In May of 2018, he conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a new production of his and Brian Crawley’s Little Princess in concert at the Royal Festival Hall to a sold-out crowd of nearly 3,000 people. His hit song “Evil Like Me” appears in Disney’s Descendants. Written for Kristin Chenoweth, the soundtrack hit #1 on the “Billboard 200” album chart, #1 on the iTunes and Billboard soundtrack charts and “Evil Like Me” was certified gold in 2017. He has conducted celebrated pianist Lang Lang and the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of a commissioned symphonic work for piano, soprano, tenor, children’s chorus, and orchestra. His epic oratorio for men’s chorus, orchestra and soloists, has seen over 30 productions including Disney Hall and Lincoln Center. Lippa’s newest musical, The Man in the Ceiling, based on Jules Feiffer’s book (and co-written with Feiffer) released a world premiere studio album in May of 2019. His obsession with Netflix’s Tiger King yielded two songs/videos in April, 2020 and, for a while, got his mind off the pandemic.

Broadway credits include: music and lyrics for Big Fish; the Tony®-nominated music and lyrics for the Broadway musical The Addams Family directed by Jerry Zaks, as well as the music for Aaron Sorkin’s Broadway play The Farnsworth Invention directed by Des McAnuff. Other musicals include the Drama Desk award-winning musical The Wild Party (book/music/lyrics); John & Jen (music/book); Asphalt Beach (music and lyrics); Life of the Party (a compendium of Lippa’s works/Menier Chocolate Factory); and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (additional music/lyrics and arrangements).

Awards include Tony® and Grammy® nominations; shared Emmy for Nickelodeon’s The Wonder Pets; SFGMC Vanguard Award; The Drama Desk Award; The Outer Critics Circle Award. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Lippa serves as president of the board of The Dramatists Guild Foundation www.dgf.org

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MILLENNIALS

8/9/10 February

Music, Book and Lyrics by Elliot Clay

Director Luke Sheppard

MILLENNIALS turns up the microphone on the lives, the losses and the frustrations of young people in the modern world. A generation that is so often defined by tabloid headlines, tweets and of course, avocados, pick up the mic and transport us inside their extraordinarily ordinary lives. Written and composed by Elliot Clay, this powerful and uplifting collection of songs runs the gamut of modern pop-music and sends musical theatre hurtling into the 21st Century.

Elliot Clay is an award-nominated composer, lyricist and actor for musicals, plays and film. He wrote and starred in his debut musical ‘The State of Things‘ (Jack Studio Theatre) and has performed on the West End and UK/International Tours (Million Dollar QuartetPeter PanOliver!The Wizard of OZ).

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HOUSEFIRE

8/9/10 February

Book & Lyrics/Directed by P Burton-Morgan

Music by Felix Hagan

An Eco Rock Musical

“I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” – Greta Thunberg 2019

A trio of endangered animals form a rock band to protest against the climate crisis. Leo, the snow leopard lead singer, rages against the annihilation of their world, Ginger the Orangutan, on keys, has her own tale to tell about the traumas of deforestation, while Alan the elephant is keeping time on the drums. But their newly rebranded group ‘HouseFire’ is under threat from their corporate manager getting them to pander to the very capitalist system they want to destabilize. Entering Britain’s Got Talent is a great way to reach more people with their message, but it puts a strain on their already fractious relationships, and is it all just too little too late… Fierce, frenetic and fun – this gig-theatre musical will set your world on fire.

P Burton-Morgan is a Writer and Director working across musical theatre, plays and opera. Musical Theatre writing credits include Cold Front (MT Fest 2020), In The Willows (Exeter Northcott and UK tour) for which they won the WGGB award for musical theatre book writing 2020, Little Mermaid (Theatre By the Lake & UK tour) and Blown Away (Exeter Northcott and UK tour). Other musicals in development include Great Expectations (National Theatre Studio), and The Rhythmics (The Other Palace). Their plays include Wondr (Edinburgh Festival) and Jungle Book (Windsor Theatre Royal, UK & International tour). They have directed over 40 productions to date including Mouthful (Trafalgar Studios), Cosi fan tutte (New Theatre, Oxford), Arab Nights (Soho Theatre and UK tour), Comedy of Errors (Exeter Northcott), As You Like It (Wirksworth Festival) and Gotcha (Riverside Studios). They are the founder and Artistic Director of the mid-scale touring company Metta Theatre, established in 2005.

 

CAKE

11/12/13 February

Music and Lyrics by Jack McManus and Tasha Taylor-Johnson

Book and Lyric by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm

Director Drew McOnie

Cake* combines rap and RnB with 18th century France to retell a story that sparked a revolution. When Marie Antoinette married King Louis, her reputation was already tarnished by gossip. But when she is implicated in a crime to defraud the crown jewellers of a diamond necklace, it is not just her reputation at stake, but the monarchy and France itself.

Morgan Lloyd Malcolm was commissioned by The Globe to write Emilia which became a sell out in summer 2018 and transferred to the West End at the Vaudeville theatre in 2019. It won three Olivier awards in 2020 including for Best Comedy or Entertainment. Previous theatre includes Belongings and The Wasp and she has current theatre commissions with Headlong, Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Court and Cleanbreak. She is also adapting her play The Wasp into a screenplay for Paradise City Films.

Jack McManus is a multi-instrumentalist songwriter and producer. Once signed to Polydor as an artist, Jack evolved into a sought after writer showing his versatility by penning hits across all Pop, M.O.R. and Dance domains. He has had success with a wide variety of artists including The Chainsmokers, Afrojack, Boyzone, The Wanted, The Shires, Shirley Bassey, Martine McCutcheon and more recently Michael Ball & Alfie Boe (including a song on their latest number one album). Jack is thoroughly enjoying his journey writing for Musical Theatre and it is something he is hugely passionate about and hopes to do a lot more of in the future.

Tasha Taylor-Johnson is a composer, lyricist, writer & performer. She’s been tipped as ‘one to watch’, Sunday Times, and her work has been described as ‘different, fresh and original’ by Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer the Opera).

 

She was awarded the prestigious Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer position at Leicester Curve in 2017 & continues as an Associate Artist there.

 

Recent theatre credits include Spring Awakening’ (The Young Vic), ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’, (Curve) ’Cat in the Hat’ (UK tour/ Curve),‘The Wheel’  (Guildhall),’Cotton Fingers’ (National Theatre Wales), ‘Woman & Scarecrow’  (RADA), ’Memoirs of an Asian Casual’  (Curve), The Crucible’  (Curve), ’George’ s Marvellous Medicine’ (Curve), ‘To You’ (National Youth Ballet & Drew McOnie). For TV & film her credits include Dance with Me’ (The Old Vic) ’Rinderland’ (Channel 4), & ’Clean as You Like’, (Amazonand Wearing Thin’ (Short – 2021.)

Her collaborations with the McOnie Company include:‘Good Morning Midnight’ (Jermyn Street Theatre), ’A Ballet, with Love’ (The Royal Albert Hall) & ‘Shine’ (Sadlers Wells).

She releases her own electronic music under the alias Siren Red.

Cake was commissioned by Paul Taylor-Mills whilst he was Artistic Director of The Other Palace where it appeared under its former title; Killer Queen.

 

DAISY

11/12/13 February

Book, Music and Lyrics by Caroline Kay

Director Séimí Campbell

This story explores several forms of loss, challenges the resilience of a family, and celebrates the healing-power of storytelling. After waking from a coma with no memory of life before her accident, a young woman must try to move on knowing little more than her name: Daisy.

Her enduring passion for writing finds her escaping into the world of stories she creates in her notebook, but this coping mechanism still leaves Daisy feeling as though she can only move forward if she regains memories from her past. She never considers that perhaps some of the memories she’s so desperate to unlock might be even more difficult to accept than her new life without them. What begins as a story of personal struggle soon becomes a family’s shared experience of hardship, loss, and love.

Caroline Kay is a Dublin-born singer-songwriter who graduated with a Masters in Musical Theatre Performance from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. She has performed in musicals, concerts, studio album recordings, workshops, and is also passionate about creating her own work. Caroline’s first original EP, Notes, went straight to #1 in the Irish iTunes Album Charts upon release in 2017, and her second EP, tricks , followed suit in 2019. After producing her own solo gig, Notes & Other Stuff, in Dublin, Cork, London and New York City, she went on to do a number of other solo gigs in London in places like Live at Zedel and The Other Palace.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Caroline paired up (virtually) with West End Star, David Hunter, and together they wrote, recorded, and produced a Musical Short, The Space Between, which is available to watch on YouTube, and available as an EP on all music platforms to download or stream

Caroline hopes to see her original musical, Daisy, fully staged in London in the near future, and her long-term goal for the show it to have it on a Dublin stage where the show is set.

Séimí Campbell is an Irish theatre director, based in London. Graduating from Trinity College Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, he then studied in the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Ferenc Academy, Hungary, and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London. Séimí most recently directed Jason Robert Brown’s SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD at The London Palladium – which transfers to the Vaudeville Theatre in February ‘21.

Other recent directing credits include; Stephen Schwartz’s MY SON PINOCCHIO (Southwark Playhouse), MOZART (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts), OLIVER! (An Grianan Theatre). Recent assisting credits include COME FROM AWAY (Phoenix Theatre), JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Barbican), AMOUR (Charing Cross), and the upcoming BREAKFAST ON PLUTO (Associate Director; Donmar Warehouse). He is Artistic Director of Irish Youth Musical Theatre (IYMT), and musical theatre coordinator at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

About Author /

Kath is an actor, singer and writer with a passion for theatre. She has been reviewing for At The Theatre since 2014. Kath has a Masters in Performance at Liverpool Hope University and is Creative Engagement Worker for B arts, a participatory arts organisation.

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