Janie Dee, Sally Anne Triplett, Kerry Ellis, David Bedella, Haydn Gwynne, Jenna Russell Set for Celebration at West End's Novello
By Mark Shenton
A 20th anniversary gala will be held Oct. 14 at the West End's Novello Theatre for Mercury Musical Developments, the U.K. organization dedicated to promoting the craft of writing book, music and lyrics for musical theatre.
Musical theatre luminaries including Mercury members Willy Russell, Charles Hart and George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, together with a number of emerging writers, will be introducing new songs at the event. These will be performed by stars including Janie Dee, Sally Anne Triplett, Kerry Ellis, David Bedella, Haydn Gwynne, Paul Kaye and Jenna Russell.
The event will celebrate British shows past, present and future by MMD members, including songs from Willy Russell's Our Day Out, Douglas Hodge's Meantime, Stiles and Drewe's Soapdish, Charles Hart's French without Tears, Dougal Irvine's The Buskers Opera, Richard Taylor and David Wood's The Go Between, Grant Olding's songs for One Man, Two Guvnors, Tim Minchin's Matilda, Don Black and John Barry's Billy, Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend, Frank Lazarus and Dick Vosburgh's A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, Howard Goodall's The Challenge and other shows by MMD members.
MMD was started in 1992 when founding members studied with Stephen Sondheim at Oxford when he was The Cameron Mackintosh Professor of Contemporary Theatre. Early members of the organization included Howard Goodall, Charles Hart, George Stiles, Anthony Drewe and Kit Hesketh Harvey. MMD now has over 250 members that also include Sandy Wilson, Willy Russell, Don Black, Tim Rice, Diane Samuels, Richard Stilgoe, Sam Adamson, Stephen Fry, Brian May, Gwyneth Herbert, Grant Olding, Dougal Irvine, Conor Mitchell, Stephen Fry, Osnat Schmool, Tim Sutton, Douglas Hodge, Stuart Matthew-Price, Adam Cork, Richard Taylor, Tim Minchin, Richard Thomas, Steve Brown, David Mcalmont, David Arnold, Dave Stewart, Helen Edmundson and many others.
To book tickets for MMD's 20th anniversary gala, contact the box office on 0844 482 5171 or visit www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk. For more details on MMD, visit www.mercurymusicals.com.
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