Line-up for MTFest UK 2020 musical theatre festival

The line-up has been announced for MTFest UK 2020 – a festival of musical theatre at London’s Turbine Theatre.

MTFEST UK 2020
Running from 3 to 15 February, MTFest UK 2020 has been put together by the theatre’s artistic director, Paul Taylor-Mills, with the aim of showcasing and elevating projects to full production and giving audiences an insight into the process of creating new work and the art of collaboration.

The eight productions will include Soapdish from George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, a new outing for Theatre Clwyd’s award-winning show The Assassination of Katie Hopkins, a new version of Eurovision Song contest parody Eurobeat, and Tyrell, a musical parody-prequel to Game of Thrones.

The line-up is completed by Jet Set Go! by Pippa Cleary and Jake Brunger who wrote Adrian Mole the Musical, Southern Comfort by Julianne Wick Davis and Dan Collins, Coldfront by Jason Carr and Poppy Burton-Morgan, and Works of Art with music and lyrics by actor and theatre-maker Robin Simões Da Silva. See below for more details.

Each of the shows in this “Taster Menu” series will be presented as semi-staged productions, running for between 45 and 60 minutes. Casting will be announced shortly.

After its success in 2019 at The Other Palace Theatre in London, MTFestUK has been brought by Taylor-Mills to the newly opened Turbine Theatre in Circus West Village by Battersea Power Station.

He said: “This year sees us working with an exciting and emerging theatre, a host of first-time writers and Olivier Award-winning teams. Importantly, the content of all eight shows, and the stories we set out to tell, represent the world we’re currently living in.

“We’ve listened to over 150 musicals and have made a commitment to give over 100 hours of free space to projects that would benefit from the time to move their work forward.”

MTFestUK 2020 Taster Menu

Southern Comfort
Based on the Sundance award-winning documentary, this heartwarming musical about a group of transgender friends living in rural Georgia is, at its core, a love story between their patriarch, Robert Eads, and newcomer Lola Cola. Through a folk and bluegrass-inspired score, the musical chronicles a year in the lives of this American family as they courageously defy the odds by simply remaining on the land to which they were born, reminding us that home is where we find comfort in our skin. Music by Julianne Wick Davis, book and lyrics by Dan Collins and directed by Sophia Murphy.

Jet Set Go!
Join Nicola and her in-flight cabin crew as they sing up the aisles and tap-dance down Broadway on a trip to New York that you’ll never forget. This musical comedy, which trails a transatlantic cabin crew and their two pilots on a flight to New York (and back), premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is now back in this revised version. Music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary, book and lyrics by Jake Brunger and directed by Luke Sheppard who also directed their musical of Adrian Mole in the West End.

Soapdish
When Celeste Talbert, long-time star of popular daytime soap The Sun Also Sets, is targeted by her ambitious younger co-star, a chain of events is set in motion leading the a big secret being revealed. The show is based on the 1991 film starring Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Elizabeth Shue, Robert Downey Jr and Whoopi Goldberg. Music by George Stiles, lyrics by Anthony Drewe and directed by Rachel Kavanaugh

The Assassination of Katie Hopkins
A shocking crime divides the nation. Fingers are pointed, sides are drawn, facts are hard to come by. Why did this happen? How do we move on? What must we remember? It’s easy to have an opinion online, safe behind the anonymity of a keyboard: just like, share and subscribe. But as the digital mob polish their pitchforks, the world starts to question just how free should free speech be? This show, which premiered at Theatr Clwyd in Mold in Wales in 2018, is by Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth and directed by James Grieve.

Coldfront
Every month, Rosemary is on the same park bench with the same sandwiches made by her mother washed down with the same thermos of tea. The same manual tasks to keep the park in order. But as the seasons change, an unlikely romance slowly blossoms with autistic weather analyst James. Music by Jason Carr and direction and lyrics by Poppy Burton-Morgan.

Eurobeat: Pride of Europe
After its first outing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this is the latest iteration of the loving parody of the Eurovision Song Contest. Who takes the crown? You decide! Will it be the hunky Norwegian Vikings? The Ukrainian cave girl? Or the naughty nuns from Vatican City? Eurobeat: Pride of Europe is a sequin-soaked satire of the annual contest, with just a pinch of socio-political commentary, written by Craig Christie and directed by Max Bex Roberts.

Tyrell
A septuagenarian femme fatale teaches her gay grandson and politically savvy granddaughter to wield power within a medieval patriarchy in this “musical parody-prequel” that imagines what some of the secondary characters in HBO's Game of Thrones were thinking all along. Welcome to Highgarden where this one-act chamber piece explores Olenna’s grandmotherly guile, Loras’s closeted double life and Margaery’s objectification. Written by Alex Ratner and directed by Simon Greiff.

Works of Art
Struck by the unexpected loss of their mother, brothers Reid and Jackson are forced to face a world without their biggest champion, most constant lifeline and the heart of their childhood home. Re-navigating their relationship as brothers after Reid’s transition and Jackson’s years away studying, the two must come together in deciding Cassie's legacy as a painter, a mother and a woman, and discover the value of true works of art. Works of Art is an intimate new folk musical about grief, new beginnings, and brotherly love. It features music and lyrics by Robin Simões Da Silva with a book by Annabel Mutale Reed and is directed by Annabelle Hollingdale.

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