Theatre News

New musicals, part of MTFestUK, to be streamed due to new lockdown restrictions

You’ll be able to watch up-and-coming shows before they get full-scale productions


New musicals festival, MTFestUK, will head online due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions.

Turbine's artistic director Paul Taylor-Mills said in a statement:

"Following yesterday's government announcement, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to take our entire MTFestUK 2021 season online. It will be different and presents new creative challenges but, as shown with our Christmas production (still available to watch until 10 January), it allows The Turbine's work to reach all corners of the world, and we must embrace the small wins. Celebrating new work and the people who make it has never been more important and we are going to need your help.

"If you have already purchased tickets to see any of the musicals during the festival, you will be given the option of a refund and will then need to re-book for the streaming pass. Your point of sale will contact you with all the necessary information to facilitate this. All other streaming tickets will be available from Friday 8 Jan.

"Following MTFestUK, The Turbine will close for an extended period until we can reopen with more certainty than is currently allowed. We are hopeful that this will be late April.

"We thank you for your continued patience and support during this challenging time and are more grateful than ever for our audiences."

The shows will be recorded and then streamed, with casting to be unveiled.

The series will feature the likes of including Tasha Taylor-Johnson, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Drew McOnie, 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.

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