Casting has been confirmed for Paul Taylor-Mills’ highly celebrated annual festival of new musical theatre, MTFestUK 2021. Featuring a truly spectacular company of international stars, with a number of Tony and Olivier Awards to their names, this year’s season is set to be an unmissable event in the 2021 musical theatre calendar.
The full line up of world class performers includes:
Tori Allen-Martin, Luke Bayer, Jenna Boyd, Alex Cardall, Jessica Cervi, Chris Chung, Matthew Croke, Allie Daniel, Cory English, Aminita Francis, Scott Garnham, Tiffany Graves, Beth Hinton-Lever, Aimee Hodnett, Jazz Jenkins, Nadine-Rose Johnson, Reuben Joseph, Eleanor Kane, Caroline Kay, Emma Kingston, Gemma Knight Jones, Melanie La Barrie, Marie Lawrence, Simon Lipkin, Andrew Lippa, Nathan Lorainey-Dineen, Tim Mahendran, Ako Mitchell, Kyran Mitchell-Nanton, Grace Mouat, Phoebe Panaretos, Bryce Pinkham, Sharon Rose, Robert Saunders, Cleve September, Sharon Sexton, Robin Simões da Silva, Nicola Sloane, Jodie Steele, Scarlett Strallen, Sebastien Torkia and Paul Thornley.*
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.
FAR FROM HEAVEN
Book by Richard Greenberg
Music by Scott Frankel
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Directed by Matthew White
Musical Direction by Alex Parker
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
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
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.
Created and Written by Thabo Stuck
Directed by Ajjaz Awad
Musical Direction by Amiir Salem
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
Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Book by Jules Feiffer
Directed by Annabel Mutale Reed
Musical Direction by Richard Beadle
Matthew Croke (Aladdin/Hair) – Father
Jazz Jenkins (Live – A Viral Short Film) – Lisi
Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party) – 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.
Music, Book and Lyrics 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.
Book & Lyrics/Directed by P Burton-Morgan
Music by Felix Hagan
Musical Direction 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.
Music and Lyrics by Jack McManus & Tasha Taylor-Johnson
Book and Lyrics by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
Directed by Drew 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.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Caroline Kay
Directed by Séimí Campbell
Musical Direction by Sarah Travis
Jessica Cervi (The Commitments) – Sister
Chris Chung (Heathers) – Guy
Caroline Kay (The Clockmaker’s Daughter) – Daisy
Sharon Sexton (Bat Out Of Hell) – Woman
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.
TONY! (A TONY BLAIR ROCK OPERA)
Book and Lyrics by Harry Hill & Steve Brown
Music by Steve Brown
Directed by Peter Rowe
Musical Direction by Sarah Travis
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.