Full musical line-up for MTFestUK 2021 has been announced by Paul Taylor-Mills, artistic director of The Turbine Theatre. The festival, which celebrates new musicals, runs from 1 to 13 February 2021.
The diverse new musical selection includes Far From Heaven, #50Days, TONY! (A Tony Blair Rock Opera), The Man in the Ceiling, HouseFire, Cake and Daisy.
MTFestUK is a celebration of new musical theatre that sets out to promote quality artists, with a view to showcase and elevate projects to full production. Audiences will be given an insight into the creation process, in a way that no other festival offers.
Paul Taylor-Mills launched the festival in 2019 at The Other Palace, which was followed by a 2020 season in February at The Turbine Theatre.
Creative talent includes Tasha Taylor-Johnson, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Drew McConie, Caroline Kay, Matt White, Thabo Stuck, Harry Hill, Scott Frankel and Poppy Burton Morgan, with casting for productions to be announced in due course.
Paul Taylor-Mills 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.”
Far From Heaven runs from 1 to 3 February, with book by Richard Greenberg (Tony Award-winner for Take Me Out), music by Scott Frankel (Grey Gardens) and lyrics by Michael Korie (Grey Gardens), with direction from Matthew White. Based on the Focus Features/Vulcan Productions film written and directed by Todd Haynes, the musical follows Cathy Whitaker, who 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.
#50DAYS runs from 1 to 3 February and is created and written by Thabo Stuck, with musical supervision from Duramaney Kamara and direction from Ajjaz Awad-Ibrahim (Zorro: The Musical).
#50days is a Grime Musical which tells the story of the period when the very foundations of England were shattered. Set in December 1641, 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.
Thabo Stuck challenges the notion of how history is discoursed and says, “This is an interpretation of British history told through the eyes of underrepresented Brits today.” His debut musical, Stuck is an historian and history teacher at The BRIT School, and is currently the Lambeth Baylis Trustee at The Old Vic Theatre and a Grime/UK Hip-Hop enthusiast.