Theatre News

MTFestUK line-up revealed with new musicals by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Andrew Lippa, Harry Hill, Steve Brown and more

The series returns next year

The MTFestUK shows
The MTFestUK shows

MTFestUK has unveiled its line-up for its 2021 season of brand new work-in-progress pieces that will be staged in early 2021.

The series will feature the likes of including Tasha Taylor-Johnson, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Drew McConie, Caroline Kay, Matt White, Thabo Stuck, Harry Hill, Scott Frankel and Poppy Burton Morgan.

It opens on with a stage version of multi-award-nominated Far From Heaven, which follows a '50s housewife with hidden secrets and passions. The show will have book by Richard Greenberg, music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie and direction by Matthew White and runs from 1 to 3 February.

Across the same dates will be a work-in progress stage version of #50Days, which is set during the English Civil War. Creator Thabo Stuck, challenges the notion of how history is discoursed: "This is an interpretation of British history told through the eyes of underrepresented Brits today." It has musical supervision by Duramaney Kamara and direction by Ajjaz Awad.

From 4 to 6 February, Harry Hill and Steve Brown will unveil a new musical Tony! (A Tony Blair Rock Opera). With music by Steve Brown, direction by Peter Rowe and musical direction by Sarah Travis, the piece follows the former Prime Minister.

Award-winning composer Andrew Lippa and Pulitzer-Prize-winner Jules Feiffer will present The Man in the Ceiling on the same dates – which previously ran Off-Broadway. The show is about an aspiring artist proving their viability.

From 8 to 10 February, & Juliet and Rent director Luke Sheppard will stage Elliot Clay's new musical Millennials, about the plight of millennials in the modern world.

Also being presented on those dates is Poppy Burton-Morgan and Felix Hagan's Housefire. Billed as an eco-rock musical, the piece follows a group of animals reacting to the climate crisis.

The final pair of shows will be presented from 11 to 13 February. The first is Cake, based on a historical saga involving Marie Antoinette. The show has music and lyrics by Jack McManus and Tasha Taylor-Johnson, book and lyrics by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and direction by award-winner Drew McOnie.

The second is Daisy, which has book, music and lyrics by Caroline Kay and direction by Séimí Campbell. It follows a young woman who wakes from a coma with no recollection of her life before.

Paul Taylor-Mills, artistic director of the Turbine Theatre said: "It's impossible to ignore the challenges and sheer nerve required to make any kind of announcement during these times. With all that in mind, I couldn't be prouder to be associated with The Turbine Theatre and everything that it stands for, particularly with regard to investing in and generating new work.

"It's fair to say that MTFestUK 2021 is going to be our most diverse to date and I'm thrilled to be presenting musicals from first time writers, alongside Tony and Olivier award winning artists. It's the range of talent involved, and each individual musical's journey so far that makes MTFestUK such a unique and supportive environment. A place where artists are able to create and play with musical concepts. We were inundated with submissions and the quality and passion to get new work on is alive and kicking both in the UK and beyond. I'm proud that The Turbine Theatre is able to give writers and composers across the world the space to develop their work