Cast and creatives announced for MTFestUK 2021

Paul Taylor-Mills has confirmed the line-up of award-winning and international performers and creatives assembled for next month’s MTFestUK 2021.

Due to open at the Turbine Theatre in London from 17-29 May 2021 before embarking on a digital tour from 31 May until 4 July, the third edition of the annual celebration of new musical theatre will showcase eight new musicals.

Featuring a book by Richard Greenberg, music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie, Far From Heaven takes its inspiration from Todd Haynes’ multi award-winning 2002 film. Directed by Matthew White with music direction by Alex Parker, jazz-infused musical will star Cory English (Guys & Dolls), Tiffany Graves (Chicago), Aimee Hodnett (Follies), Melanie La Barrie (& Juliet), Ako Mitchell (Caroline, Or Change), Bryce Pinkham (The Heidi Chronicles), Scarlett Strallen (Mary Poppins) and Rebecca Trehearn (City of Angels).

Created and written by Thabo Stuck, #50Days will be directed by Ajjaz Awad with musical direction by Amiir Salem. Described by its creator as ‘an interpretation of British history told through the eyes of under-represented Brits today’, the cast is made up of Aminita Francis (Frankenstein – How To Make A Monster), Nadine Rose-John (Frankenstein), Reuben Johnson (Rapunzel), Jyran Mitchell-Nanton (Karma), Robert Saunders (Grandpa’s Great Escape Live) and Cleve September (Hamilton).

Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer has joined forces with Tony-nominated composer and lyricist Andrew Lippa for The Man In The Ceiling. Lippa (The Wild Party) will also feature in the cast of the uplifting tale along with Matthew Croke (Aladdin), Jazz Jenkins (Live – A Viral Short Film) and Sharon Rose (Hamilton). Annabel Mutale Reed will direct with musical direction by Richard Beadle.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’s Luke Bayer will join Allie Daniel (RENT), Beth Hinton-Lever (Hadestown), Nathan Lorainey-Dineen (& Juliet), Tim  Mahendran (& Juliet) and Jodie Steele (SIX) for Millennials. Written and composed by Elliot Clay, the pop-flavoured piece will be directed by Luke Sheppard with musical direction by Katy Richardson.

Eco-rock musical House Fire will star Alex Cardall (Evita), Eleanor Kane (High Fidelity) and Robin Simões da Silva (Spring Awakening) as a trio of endangered animals who form a rock band to fight against climate change. Book and lyrics are by P Burton-Morgan who will also direct along with music by Felix Hagan. The musical director is Mark Collins.

Drew McOnie will direct the rap and RnB flavoured Cake  starring Tori Allen-Martin (Rock of Ages), Emma Kingston (In The Heights), Phoebe Panaretos (Strictly Ballroom) and Sebastian Torkia (The Wild Party). With music and lyrics by Jack McManus and Tasha Taylor-Johnson and book and lyrics by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, the musical which throws the spotlight on Marie Antoinette and the events that led to the French Revolution was commissioned by Taylor-Mills when he was artistic director at The Other Palace where it was showcased under its previous title Killer Queen.

A story of hardship, loss and love Caroline Kay’s Daisy will be directed by Séimí Campbell with musical direction by Sarah Travis. Kay (The Clockmaker’s Daughter) who will take on the title role will be joined by Jessica Cervi (The Commitments), Chris Chung (Heathers) and Sharon Sexton (Bat Out Of Hell).

Scott Garnham (Nativity! The Musical) will play former PM and would-be rocker Tony Blair in Tony! (A Tony Blair Rock Opera). Garnham will be joined by Jenna Boyd (Come From Away), Gemma Knight Jones (Falsettos), Marie Lawrence (Toast), Simon Lipkin (Nativity! The Musical), Nicola Sloane (Our Town) and Paul Thornley (Harry Potter & The Cursed Child). Featuring a book and lyrics by Harry Hill and Steve Brown who also provides the music, the musical comedy will be directed by Peter Rowe with musical direction by Sarah Travis.

Following its debut run in Battersea the digital tour of MTFestUK 2021 will ‘visit’: Norwich Theatre Royal, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and Birmingham Hippodrome (31 May-6 June); Mayflower Theatre, Southampton and the Mercury Theatre, Colchester (7 June-13 June); Curve Theatre, Leicester and Dundee Repertory Theatre (14 June-20 June); New Wolsey Theatre and Theatre Clwyd (21 June-27 June); and Royal & Derngate, Northampton, Sheffield Theatres and The Lowry, Salford (28 June-4 July).

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