Greenwich Theatre’s second annual Musical Voices festival launched last night (10 February 2004) with the UK premiere of December Songs, the 21st-century song cycle by Broadway composer Maury Yeston (Nine, Grand Hotel, Titanic).

The celebration of musical theatre, running until 22 February, continues with professional stagings of three brand new musicals and an homage to Gilbert and Sullivan and culminates with the first-ever London Cabaret Convention.

The three new musicals were discovered via Greenwich’s other annual event Musical Futures, for work in development. After their 30-minute showcase performances there, they all now receive full-fledged production with professional directors.

The darkly comic Punch, playing tonight (11 February), is based on the tradition Punch and Judy characters, and has book and lyrics by Chris Broderick, music by Broderick and Rob Shepherd. Jody Trehy’s fantastic love story Eejit of Love, previously titled The Nothing, plays 16 February. And Robbie Hudson and Susannah Pearce’s children’s musical about a bet between two farmers over a zebra and a racehorse, Farm, plays 18 February.

- by Terri Paddock