A concert to celebrate the Chamber Musical Project will take place on 4 October 2021 at London’s Garrick Theatre. The Chamber Musical Sessions concert will invite audiences to join the selected 15 writing teams from across the UK to hear an array of new songs from the chamber musicals that they are writing.
This concert celebration of the Aria-ALP Chamber Musical Project will present extracts from all of the longlisted shows performed by some of the West End’s biggest stars, new faces and a house band.
The two newly commissioned shows which have been selected as the winners by Katy Lipson’s Aria Entertainment and Adam Lenson’s Adam Lenson Productions (ALP) for further development, mentorship and financial support are:
Eartha, Eddie, and the Upside-Down Tree
Written by Leo Munby and Annabel Mutale Reed. A contemporary fairy tale about wishing for love in a world of missed connections.
Written by Freya Smith and Jack Williams. A new musical about a queer relationship told from two perspectives, in two parts. Agnes and Bea meet unexpectedly and become entangled in a web of lies and deception while falling in love. Two complex, flawed and relatable young women explore themselves and each other in this new piece which examines themes including sexuality, class and the unreliability of memory.
The concert will also include work from the writers Christina Bloom (Detached), Cordelia O’Driscoll (Bitter/Sweet), Emelie Odukwe and Lily Vincent-Frankland (At The Centre), Guy Woolf and Isla Van Tricht (How To Save The World), Tommy Antonio and Robert Casey (Harder Baby), Hilmi Jaidin (Clickbait), Jen Green and Caroline Wigmore (Elizabeth Holmes: How to bleed dry in Silicon Valley), Michelle Payne and Craig Webb (Enthusiastically, Yes!), Natalie Pound, Sam Young and Sam Hoppen (Thanks I’m Cured), Jonathan O’Neill and Isaac Savage (Letting Go), Poppy Burton-Morgan and Robin Simões da Silva (Treehouse), Sarah-Louise Young, Richard Link and Paul Chronnell (Escape Room) and Eden Tredwell (Open Mic 1803).
The commissioning fund was set up as a response to the lack of established British chamber musicals within mainstream publishing and licensing houses and would like to help support UK-based writers in creating content which in the long term could fill these gaps.
Both companies are hugely committed to new musical theatre, evidenced by Aria’s From Page to Stage festival and full-time literary department, and Lenson’s regular SIGNAL concerts. There were over 200 entries for this opportunity with each writing team submitting a pitch and a sample of previous work.
Katy Lipson said:
“We are incredibly proud to have launched a new musical theatre writing award over the last year and to be presenting a night showcasing 15 submissions for that award on top of the set for the much-loved American chamber musical The Last 5 Years. We are hugely committed to the future of New British Chamber Musicals and cannot wait to see this award grow.”
Adam Lenson added: “We have been aware of how few opportunities there are for writers to be supported as they develop new musicals and it has been so wonderful to collaborate with Katy to create a little more space for the UK’s writing talent. We hope other theatres and producers will follow our lead and commission and stage more new musical theatre. We are so excited to see what Annabel, Leo, Jack and Freya create and can’t wait to celebrate them and the other longlisted writers in the West End in October.”