Inaugural S&S Award to Be Presented to Unproduced Musical in Event at London's St. James Theatre
By Mark Shenton
The inaugural S&S Award for yet-to-be produced musicals will be presented Nov. 24 in an event being held at London's St. James Theatre, with songs from the winning entry being performed by recent graduates from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Songs from musicals that were highly commended by the judges will be performed by West End actors Leigh Zimmerman, Caroline Sheen, David Bedella, Hannah Jane Fox, Nigel Richards and Tony-winning veteran Elizabeth Seal, as well as singer/songwriter Gwyneth Herbert.
The winner of this year's S&S Award, initiated by book writer and lyricist Warner Brown in memory of his hotelier parents Sidney and Sylvia Brown (S&S), is Forest Boy by Claire McKenzie and Scott Gilmour, recent graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
On Sept. 2, 20011, a boy appeared in Berlin claiming to have lived in the forest with his father for the past five years. Based on a true story that captured the whole world, Forest Boy is described in press materials as a tale of lies, growing up and, above all, imagination.
The S&S Award is designed to help a new writing team in the most practical way possible, by giving the winners the unique opportunity to work with a mentor to further develop their musical over the coming year.
In a press statement, Brown, whose credits include Walking With Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular, Garbo – The Musical and The Biograph Girl, commented, “It’s all about new work. Boy, does new work need to be encouraged! When I first started out, my mentor was David Heneker, composer/lyricist of Half A Sixpence and Irma La Douce - there isn’t a day when I’m not reminded of the things he taught me and the leg up he gave me. The S&S Award is there as a memorial of the past and an encouragement for the future."
As well as the winning entry, highly commended were Tim Connor and Susannah Pearse's The Stationmaster, Andrew Brided's Counselling Mr. Toad, Teresa Howard and Stephen Edis' Possessed and Mark Carroll's The Attic, with Jennifer Toksvig and Aelxander Rudd's The Queen of Snow and Morgan Mackintosh, Orlando Simon and Michael Palaiologou's Between Empires cited as further runner-ups.
The award celebrates and honors new, unproduced musicals and is judged by a panel of industry luminaries. It is facilitated by Mercury Musical Developments (MMD), a registered charity dedicated to the craft of writing book, music and lyrics for the musical theatre.
To book tickets for the event, contact the box office on 0844 2642140 or visit www.stjamestheatre.co.uk for more details.
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