At this weekend’s Winners’ Concert for the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards, the audience will get an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming world premiere of Moonshadow, a new musical by Yusuf Islam, the British singer-songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens. As part of the stellar evening – hosted, as previously announced (See News, 29 Jan 2009), by Gavin & Stacey’s James Corden and Two Pints of Lager’s Sheridan Smith at the Prince of Wales Theatre, the West End home of Mamma Mia!, at 7pm this Sunday 15 February 2009 – Siobhan McCarthy, the original Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia!, will sing the Cat Stevens’ ballad “Wild World” from Moonshadow.

The new musical is written by Yusuf Islam and features other Cat Stevens’ hits from the 1960s and 70s such as "Morning Has Broken", "Peace Train", "Father and Son", "Oh Very Young" and the song from which the show takes its title (See The Goss, 19 Jul 2006). Born Stephen Demetre Georgiou in London in 1948, the singer adopted the stage name Cat Stevens at the start of his career. In 1977, after a near-death drowning in Malibu, he quit the music industry and converted to Islam, adopting the name Yusuf Islam two years later and becoming a prominent Muslim spokesperson. In 2006, he released his first new album in 28 years.

Moonshadow is scheduled to have a tryout in Northampton in July 2009 ahead of a planned West End transfer. Siobhan McCarthy’s other West End credits include Medea, Blood Brothers, Dancing at Lughnasa, Les Miserables, Chess, On Your Toes, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. She was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for originating the lead role of Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia!. The Winners’ Concert will also feature a performance by the tenth anniversary company of the Abba musical, which, since premiering in London in 1999, has become an international blockbuster on both stage and screen.

Terri Paddock, editorial director of Whatsonstage.com, said today: “On Awards night, we’ll be handing out prizes honouring the best of the past theatre year, but we also aim to give audiences a preview of some of the hottest new shows and performances which will no doubt in contention for future awards. Theatregoers lucky enough to get a ticket are in for a massive treat on the 15th.”


The evening’s entertainment will also include performances by: Niki Evans, Kim Criswell, Siobhan McCarthy, Samantha Barks, Sarah Lark, Elena Roger, Leila Benn Harris, Suranne Jones, Julie Atherton, Ray Shell, Jimmy Johnston, Jackie Marks, Ryan Molloy, Stephen Ashfield and the casts of Jersey Boys and Spring Awakening.

The Awards Concert incorporates live trophy presentations to selected winners in the only major theatre prize-giving decided by members of the public, over 35,000 took part in the voting, which closed on 31 January. The Concert is directed and devised by Russell Labey, with musical supervision by Iain Vince-Gatt, lighting by Mike Robertson, sound by Ben Harrison and staging by Andrew Wright. It’s produced by Stuart Piper and Jason Haigh-Ellery on behalf of Whatsonstage.com and held in aid of our 2009 adopted charity TheatreMAD (Theatre: Make a Difference), which supports those living with HIV, AIDS and other long-term conditions.


Tickets to the Whatsonstage.com Awards Concert on Sunday 15 February are priced from £15 to £40 & nearly sold out!!! To book yours, call the Prince of Wales box office
on 0844 482 5133 or click here to book online!


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