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Soho stages history song cycle of work by MMD composers

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Mercury Musical Developments (MMD), an organisation dedicated to developing the craft of composers, lyricists and book-writers working in musical theatre, will present a musical song cycle exploring Soho's history, A Song Cycle for Soho, Downstairs at the Soho Theatre from 28 February (previews from 27 February) to 3 March 2012.

MMD, which is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary, will showcase British composers and lyricists including Douglas Hodge, Christopher Hamilton, Stuart Matthew Price, Dougal Irvine, Susannah Pearse, Tim Sutton and George Stiles & Anthony Drewe.

The song cycle will be performed by a cast of Michael Cantwell (Passion, Queen’s Theatre; Assassins, Donmar), James Gillan (Wicked, Apollo Theatre; Peter Pan, Royal Festival Hall), Claire Moore (London Road, National Theatre; Miss Saigon, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) and Niamh Perry (Love Never Dies, Adelphi Theatre; Mamma Mia, Prince Edward Theatre).

A Song Cycle for Soho is directed by MMD associate Simon Greiff, with musical direction by Tony Award winner Sarah Travis.

Mercury Musical Developments is a partner organisation to Musical Theatre Matters (MTM), which works to support creatives and producers to develop and champion new musical. Whatsonstage.com has supported MTM as a media partner for over three years, particularly during their annual awards for new work at the Edinburgh Fringe.

MMD and MTM are working together to facilitate the Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme, which will place five composers in producing venues. The scheme had seen Michael Bruce, now resident composer at the Donmar Warehouse, placed at the Bush Theatre as a pilot last year.

It will now support residencies at the Royal & Derngate, Northampton and the Finborough. The organisations will also launch the first National Festival of New Musical Theatre in 2014.

MMD started in 1992 when founding members studied with Stephen Sondheim at Oxford University. Early members included Howard Goodall, Charles Hart, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. A fundraising gala to celebrate its 20th anniversary is planned for October 2012.


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