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First look at W/E stars singing songs competing this weekend for Stiles + Drewe’s Best New Song Prize

A VIDEO has been released featuring George Stiles and Anthony Drewe talking about their free online event this weekend, Sunday, July 5, 2020.

It also features clips of West End stars Marisha Wallace, Rebecca Treherne, Tyrone Huntley, Fra Fee and Laura Pitt-Pulford singing some of the finalist songs.

To view it, click here.

Previously Posted: The winner of the 2020 annual Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Prize will be announced during a ‘virtual concert’ and online ceremony on Sunday, July 5, 2020.

The 15 finalist songs will be performed by a galaxy of West End stars, including Allyson Ava-Brown (Hamilton), Luke Bayer (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Lizzie Bea (Hairspray, West End), Louise Dearman (Wicked), Fra Fee (The Ferryman), Tyrone Huntley (Olivier Award nominee for Jesus Christ Superstar), Melanie La Barrie (& Juliet) and Natalie Paris (Olivier Award nominee for Six the Musical).

Also taking part will be Laura Pitt-Pulford (Olivier Award nominee for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), Maiya Quansah-Breed (Olivier Award nominee for Six the Musical), Lauren Samuels (Bend It Like Beckham), Zizi Strallen (Olivier Award nominated for Mary Poppins), Alex Thomas-Smith (Dear Evan Hansen), Rebecca Trehearn (Olivier Award winner for Showboat) and Marisha Wallace (Dreamgirls).

The Musical Director for the concert is Steve Ridley (The King & I, An American in Paris), Mix Engineer is Kevin Porée and video production is by Bartek Podkowa.

Their videos – recorded by the singers themselves in isolation – will be presented as a virtual concert, to be streamed online via YouTube on Sunday, July 5 at 6pm.

The Event is in aid of Mercury Musical Developments’ ‘Keep Writing’ Support Fund to help struggling writers.

George Stiles and Anthony Drewe said:

“Together with our fellow judges, to whom we are deeply indebted, we have whittled down this year’s 167 entries to 15 finalists – each of which will be performed by a seasoned West End performer in our ‘virtual concert’.

“With lockdown still inhibiting live theatre performances – which has prevented the normal theatrical presentation of the final songs – we are delighted that Mercury Musical Developments has agreed to take a different approach this year and that Joanne Benjamin and The Entertainment Business have generously co-sponsored the £1,000 cash prize.

“We hope that technology will be kind to us on the night, and that all our 15 finalists are heartened, encouraged and happy with the way that their work is to be showcased and celebrated.”

Since 2008, musical theatre writing partnership Stiles and Drewe have recognised new musical theatre writing via their annual prize for Best New Song. This is open to members of Mercury Musical Developments (MMD) of which George and Anthony are founding board members.

Stiles and Drewe’s own multi award-winning scores include the international smash-hit Cameron Mackintosh/Disney production of Mary Poppins, the Olivier Award-winning Honk!, which has been seen by more than six million people in over 8,000 productions, and the recent West End productions of Half A Sixpence, Betty Blue Eyes and The Wind in the Willows.

The prize recognises an outstanding song from a new musical, with the winner receiving £1,000 to put towards the development of their work. Previous winners include Theo Jamieson, Adam Wachter, Tamar Broadbent and Tim Sutton.

The Prize is usually offered in conjunction with the Stephen Sondeim Society’s Student Performer of the Year Award, with 12 student finalists performing a Sondheim song of their choice, and one of the Best New Song finalists, at a West End gala. However, due to the closure of all theatres, the gala is not happening this year.

George Stiles and Anthony Drewe will be joined by guest judges, live on the night, who will help them decide which writing team is awarded the prize .

They are Olivier Award-nominated writers Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss (SIX the Musical), composer and musical director Tim Sutton (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Warhorse, UK Tour, Memphis, West End) , Dan Gillespie-Sells (frontman of The Feeling and composer of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), and award-winning composer Cassie Kinoshi (former Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at the Dundee Rep).

During the judges’ deliberation, CheerUpCharlie campaigner Charlie Kristensen will perform the song Different from Honk! and writer Omar Baroud will perform his own song My Pain from his musical After Elijah.

THE FINAL SONGS

Bottle It by Jonathan O’Neill and Isaac Savage from Tanya: A New Musical (performed by Lizzie Bea)

Broken Guitar by Meg McGrady and Zoe Morris from The Phase (performed by Alex Thomas-Smith)

Colour by Charli Eglinton from Colours (performed by Fra Fee)

Heaven Can Wait by Julian Woolford and Richard John from The Devil’s Advocate (performed by Maiya Quansah-Breed)

Home by Jonathan O’Neill and Isaac Savage from Windows in the West (performed by Louise Dearman)

I’m Your Guy by Amir Shoenfeld and Matthew Greene from Benny In Beta (performed by Tyrone Huntley)

Juliet Kind Of Love by Victoria Saxton and Charles Miller from Marriage a la Mode (performed by Zizi Strallen)

Minnesota by Julian Woolford and Richard John from Comrade Rockstar (performed by Luke Bayer)

My First Ex-Boyfriend by Richard Marsh, Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler from Son of Rambow (performed by Natalie Paris)

Ride by Freya Smith and Jack Williams from Ride (performed by Laura Pitt-Pulford)

Shape The Future by Thomas Sutcliffe from Borders (performed by Melanie La Barrie)

Sparks by Freya Smith and Jack Williams from The Limit (performed by Lauren Samuels)

The Something Else by Vikki Stone from #zoologicalsociety (performed by Allyson Ava-Brown)

Two Ways To Australia by Rachel Bellman and Elizabeth Sybil Charlesworth from The Dickens Girls (performed by Rebecca Trehearn)

You Got A Problem by Rob Green and Nic Harvey from Hoarding: A Musical (performed by Marisha Wallace)