Thinking outside the ‘box set’

Due to the unprecedented circumstances that we find ourselves in, together with the Stephen Sondheim Society, we have sadly agreed that we are unable to proceed with the usual Student Performer of the Year gala this year. However, we are determined that the song prize will go ahead - so, we have tried to be a little more creative in the way that the final songs will be showcased and celebrated.

With the support of our wonderful friends at MMD, we have decided to invite West End performers to video record themselves singing the finalist songs - which will then be presented as a virtual concert, to be streamed online at the beginning of July. We will be joined live online by two guest judges who will help us to decide which writer or writing team is awarded the £1,000.

To make the event even more special for MMD writers this year, and without the SSSSPOTY limitation of 12 performers, we have extended the number of finalists to 15. Nothing is as exciting as live performances in a theatre but we hope you agree that, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, an MMD concert online will make for a suitably unprecedented event.

We are extremely grateful to Joanne Benjamin and Clive Chenery of the Entertainment Business who are once again generously supporting the prize.

Thanks also to all the writers who submitted their work for consideration. It was an extremely difficult decision, but it is our great pleasure to announce this year’s finalists. Congratulations to -

‘Bottle It’ by Jonathan O'Neill & Isaac Savage from Tanya: A New Musical
‘Broken Guitar’ by Meg McGrady & Zoe Morris from The Phase
‘Colour’ by Charli Eglinton from Colours
‘Heaven Can Wait’ by Julian Woolford & Richard John from The Devil’s Advocate
‘Home’ by Jonathan O'Neill & Issac Savage from Windows in the West
‘I’m Your Guy’ by Amir Shoenfeld & Matthew Greene from Benny In Beta
‘Juliet Kind Of Love’ by Victoria Saxton & Charles Miller from Marriage a la Mode
‘Minnesota’ by Julian Woolford & Richard John from Comrade Rockstar
‘My First Ex-Boyfriend’ by Richard Marsh, Miranda Cooper & Nick Coler from Son of Rambow
‘Ride’ by Freya Smith & Jack Williams from Ride
‘Shape The Future’ by Thomas Sutcliffe from Borders
‘Sparks’ by Freya Smith & Jack Williams from The Limit
‘The Something Else’ by Vikki Stone from Zoological Society
‘Two Ways To Australia’ by Rachel Bellman & Elizabeth Sybil Charlesworth from The Dickens Girls
‘You Got A Problem’ by Rob Green & Nic Harvey from Hoarding: A Musical

Watch this space for more details about the virtual concert in the coming weeks - including the names of our ‘star performers’ this year. We hope you’ll be able to join us to celebrate and support new musical theatre writing!

George & Ants