PRODUCTION IMAGES RELEASES FOR
THE OPENING MUSICALS OF MTFESTUK 2021
FAR FROM HEAVEN & #50DAYS
RUNNING AT THE TURBINE THEATRE
PHOTO CREDIT: DANNY KAAN
PAUL TAYLOR-MILLS’ PRESTIGIOUS
THE NEW MUSICAL THEATRE FESTIVAL
RUNNING AT THE TURBINE THEATRE FROM 17 – 29 MAY
& ON ‘DIGITAL TOUR’ FROM 31 MAY – 04 JULY
The 2021 festival runs from 17-29 May at The Turbine Theatre, London, before embarking on a ‘digital’ UK Tour from the 31 May – 4 July. The full list of venues and touring dates are as follows:
The Turbine Theatre, Battersea
(Monday 17 May – Saturday 29 May)
Norwich Theatre Royal, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry & Birmingham Hippodrome (Monday 31 May – Sunday 6 June)
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton & the Mercury Theatre, Colchester
(Monday 7 June – Sunday 13 June)
Curve Theatre, Leicester & Dundee Repertory Theatre
(Monday 14 June – Sunday 20 June)
New Wolsey Theatre & Theatre Clwyd
(Mon 21 June – Sunday 27 June)
Royal & Derngate, Northampton, Sheffield Theatres & The Lowry, Salford
(Monday 28 June – Sunday 4 July)
The Festival sets out to promote quality artistry, showcasing new musicals to UK audiences with a view to elevating them to full production, and 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 last year, at The Turbine Theatre.
The 2021 festival line-up includes an exciting and diverse selection of eight new musicals: Far From Heaven, #50days, The Man In the Ceiling, Millennials, HouseFire, Cake, Proud and Tony! (A Tony Blair Rock Opera).
Featuring a truly spectacular company of international stars, with a number of Tony and Olivier Awards to their names,the full line up of world class performers includes:
Tori Allen-Martin, Stephen Ashfield, Alex Austin, Charlie Baker, Luke Bayer, Jenna Boyd, Alex Cardall, Matthew Croke, Allie Daniel, Trevor Dion Nicholas, Chris Draper, Cory English, Aminita Francis, Jordan Luke Gage, Scott Garnham, Tiffany Graves, Beth Hinton-Lever, Aimee Hodnett, Jazz Jenkins, Nadine-Rose Johnson, Reuben Joseph, Eleanor Kane, Idriss Kargbo, Freddie King, Emma Kingston, Gemma Knight Jones, Melanie La Barrie, Marie Lawrence, Simon Lipkin, Andrew Lippa, Rebecca Locke, Nathan Lorainey-Dineen, Tim Mahendran, Carl Man, Nick McLean, Ako Mitchell, Kyran Mitchell-Nanton, Grace Mouat, Phoebe Panaretos, Bryce Pinkham, Sharon Rose, Robert Saunders, Cleve September, Robin Simões da Silva, Nicola Sloane, Jodie Steele, Scarlett Strallen, Sebastien Torkia, Rebecca Thornhill ,Paul Thornley and Obioma Ugola.*
In addition to the highly talented performers, the festival also includes a huge mix of exciting creative talent including: Tasha Taylor-Johnson, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Jack McManus, Drew McOnie, Matt White,Thabo Stuck, Scott Frankel and Poppy Burton Morgan.
FAR FROM HEAVEN
17-19 May 2021
Book by Richard Greenberg
Music by Scott Frankel
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Directed by Matthew White
Musical Direction by Alex Parker
Elliot Burges – David
Cory English (Guys & Dolls/Young Frankenstein) – Stan/Maurice
Tiffany Graves (Chicago/We Will Rock You) – Mrs Leacock/Mona Lauder/Doreen
Aimee Hodnett (White Christmas/Follies) – Connie/Nancy
Poppy Houghton – Janice
Melanie La Barrie (& Juliet/Wicked) – Sybil
Ako Mitchell (Caroline, Or Change/Guys & Dolls) – Raymond
Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder/The Heidi Chronicles) – Frank
Scarlett Strallen (Singin’ In The Rain/Mary Poppins) – Cathy
Rebecca Thornhill (Matilda/From Here To Eternity) – Eleanor
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.
17 – 19 May 2021
Created and Written by Thabo Stuck
Directed by Ajjaz Awad-Ibrahim
Musical Direction by Amiir Saleem
Aminita Francis (Frankenstein – How To Make A Monster) – Digby/Prince of Wales
Nadine-Rose Johnson (Frankenstein) – Queen Henrietta
Reuben Joseph (Rapunzel/Midsummer) – King Charles
Kyran Mitchell-Nanton (Karma) – Pym
Robert Saunders (Grandpa’s Great Escape Live) – Lillburn/Lucy Haye
Cleve September (Hamilton/Jesus Chris Superstar) – Manchester
#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.”
THE MAN IN THE CEILING
20 – 22 May 2021
Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Book by Jules Feiffer
Directed by Annabel Mutale Reed
Musical Direction by Richard Beadle
Alex Austin – Jimmy Jibbett
Matthew Croke (Aladdin/Hair) – Father
Trevor Dion Nicholas (Aladdin) – Uncle Lester
Jazz Jenkins (Live – A Viral Short Film) – Lisi
Obioma Ugola (Hamilton/Motown The Musical) – Older Jimmy
Sharon Rose (Hamilton/Motown The Musical) – Mother
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.
20 – 22 May 2021
Music and Lyrics byJack McManus&Tasha Taylor-Johnson
Book and Lyrics byMorgan Lloyd Malcolm
Directed byDrew McOnie
Tori Allen-Martin(Rock Of Ages) – Judge/Nicole
Emma Kingston(Fiddler On The Roof/In The Heights)– Jeanne
Phoebe Panaretos(Strictly Ballroom/Lazarus) – Marie Antoinette
Sebastien Torkia(Matilda The Musical/The Wild Party) – The Cardinal
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.
*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.
24 – 26 May 2021
Written & Composed by Elliot Clay
Directed by Luke Sheppard
Musical Direction by Katy Richardson
Luke Bayer (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie/Les Misérables)
Allie Daniel (RENT)
Beth Hinton-Lever (West Side Story/Hadestown)
Nathan Lorainey-Dineen (& Juliet/Motown The Musical)
Tim Mahendran (& Juliet/The Midnight Gang)
Grace Mouat (& Juliet/Six)
Jodie Steele (Six/Heathers)
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.
24 – 26 May 2021
Book & Lyrics/Directed by P Burton-Morgan
Music by Felix Hagan
Musical Direction by Chris Poon
Musical Supervision by Mark Collins
An Eco Rock Musical
Alex Cardall (Evita) – Alan
Eleanor Kane (High Fidelity/Fun Home) – Ginger
Robin Simões da Silva (Spring Awakening) – Leo
“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.
27 – 29 May 2021
Music by Lee Freeman
Lyrics by Mark Anderson
Book by Graham Lappin & Mark Anderson
Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle
Musical Direction by Ellie Verkerk
Stephen Ashfield (The Book Of Mormon) – Clarke/Donald
Chris Draper (School Of Rock) – Father Frederick/Thomas
Jordan Luke Gage (& Juliet/Bat Out Of Hell) – David
Idriss Kargbo (Five Guys Named Moe) – Cooper/Gabriel
Freddie King (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) – Brett/Mrs Bailey/Swim Team
Rebecca Locke (Heathers) – Diana/Bernice
Carl Man (Wicked) – Mr Maplewood/Swim Team/Rory
Nick McLean (Wicked) – Swim Team/Mason
David has always been different. He really wishes he wasn’t. Despite the acceptance and unconditional love of his parents, his prayers are answered when he discovers the existence of ‘Reality Trek’, a conversion camp for gay men run by ex-gay Donald and his lord-abiding wife, Bernice. With faith on their side, they guide David and his camp campmates through the programme, but when the illegally-handsome Rory arrives late, David faces the ultimate test on the path to the straight and narrow.
TONY! (A TONY BLAIR ROCK OPERA)
27 – 29 May 2021
Book and Lyrics by Harry Hill & Steve Brown
Music by Steve Brown
Directed by Peter Rowe
Musical Direction by Sarah Travis
Charlie Baker (The Hit Polisher/I Can’t Sing) – Tony Blair
Jenna Boyd (Come From Away/Wind In The Willows) – Prescott
Scott Garnham (Nativity The Musical/Billy Elliot) – Tony
Gemma Knight Jones (Falsettos/The Lion King) – Princess Di
Marie Lawrence (Toast/The Understudy) – Cherie
Simon Lipkin (Nativity The Musical/Guys & Dolls) – Mandy
Nicola Sloane (Our Town/Love In Idleness) – Mrs Blair
Paul Thornley (Harry Potter & The Cursed Child) – Kinnock
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.