The winners with the judges and Perfect Pitch team
The winners with the judges and Perfect Pitch team

A contemporary retelling of the Odyssey titled Odd has won the first Perfect Pitch Award for new musicals following a competition held this afternoon at the St James Theatre.

Five writing teams pitched their musical ideas to a panel of judges including West End stars Michael Ball and Rosemary Ashe, choreographer Stephen Mear, writer Samuel Adamson and directors Rachel Kavanagh and Kerry Michael.

Other shows bidding for the £12k prize included a 21st century version of Pinnochio, written by Dougal Irvine and Tim Sutton, and period piece Crewe Station by Adam Meggido, Duncan Walsh (Showstoppers) and Amy Rosenthal.

Odd, which is written by newcomers Chris Bush and Matthew Winkworth, is an adaptation of Homer's Odyssey, seen through the eyes of a teenage girl in modern Britain. The score is infused with rap and spoken work influences.

A ten-minute extract from each show was performed by professionals including Clive Rowe, Raj Ghatak, Kaisa Hammerlund, Daniel Buckley, Vivien Carter and Ako Mitchell.

Accepting the award, which will see the show developed to final draft stage by Perfect Pitch and the Royal and Derngate in Northampton, the writers said they were "incredibly humbled".

"Normally you win an award for having done something and we've only just got started," they added.

Speaking to WhatsOnStage after the event, Michael Ball said: "[the award] is a fantastic opportunity. We need more British musicals, and quite often the difficulty is getting them developed... this is a really exciting new development for writers."

Watch the full interview below...