British Musical Futures – St James Studio
I was invited along to the British Musical Futures showcase concert at the St James Studio, celebrating new musical writing work. So I hot footed it to Victoria to get a sneak peak into some potential new shows we might be seeing in or around the West End in the not too distant future.
After a huge volume of submissions and a lengthy selection process, the writers showcased at this special evening were Stephanie Amies & Teddy Clements, Nick Barstow, Tim Connor, Ben Frost & Richard Hough, Tim Gilvin and John Kristian. The evening was hosted by award-winning writing partnership George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. Performing the new work were a group of talented youngsters, some just starting out in the business and others more established. West End stars, Emma Williams and Aaron Sidwell topped the billing along with Jamie Muscato (The Light Princess/Dogfight) and Ross Mcneil (Ushers).
Emma Williams is a two-time Olivier Award nominee, and has just finished touring the UK playing Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. Emma played Jenny in the West End production of Love Story in 2010 which still remains one of my favourite shows. Her voice is so distinct that you can pick her out of a crowd blindfolded and it was lovely to see her singing at this special evening.
Aaron Sidwell started out on TV playing Steven Beale in Eastenders but has gone on to star in Loserville: The Musical (West Yorkshire Playhouse & Garrick Theatre West End, Original Cast), Cool Rider Live (Lyric and Duchess Theatre West End, Original Cast) and the UK Tour of Carnaby Street – The Musical. Aaron has a very laid back attitude on stage but stays in the moment of the song being performed.
New musical theatre writing is a special thing to see as it can be work that will eventually make it in to productions but in an earlier format. A kind of work-in-progress. I look forward to seeing where these songs take on life next.
West End Wilma