Following their triumphant sold-out gala fundraising concert of The Color Purple last Sunday featuring major stars from shows including Dreamgirls (★★★★★ The Stage, ★★★★★ Britishtheatre.com, ★★★★★ LondonTheatre1.com) the British Theatre Academy today announces a double bill of musicals this summer at London’s Ambassadors Theatre.
The Adventures of Pinocchio, with Music and Lyrics by Neil Bartram, Book by Brian Hill, directed by Bronagh Langan (Promises Promises, Southwark Playhouse) will run from Friday July 28 – Thursday 31 August.
13 The Musical, with Music and Lyrics by Tony Award-winning Jason Robert Brown, (Parade, The Last Five Years, Bridges of Madison County) and Book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, directed and choreographed by Ewan Jones, will play Wednesday 16 August – Wednesday 23 August. 13 The Musical is a youth production presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe).
This season follows the success of previous BTA summer shows, The Secret Garden at the Ambassadors Theatre in 2016 and Annie Jr, which smashed box office records at the Arts Theatre in 2015. Those shows gave over 500 youngsters the chance to act for the first time in the West End.
Producer Matthew Chandler of the BTA said: “The Color Purple in Concert at Cadogan Hall on Sunday was an unforgettable night for the audience and for our youngsters getting to perform alongside stars from the West End and Broadway. It is has been an incredible year for the BTA and to date all our productions and concerts have given 1,500 children the chance to perform on the West End stage. For our summer season, more than 2,000 young people auditioned for The Adventures of Pinocchio and over 1,000 teenagers for 13 The Musical. In total we have 17 teams of actors performing The Adventures of Pinocchio and 3 teams performing 13 The Musical.This is a fantastic opportunity for all the youngsters involved.”
The Adventures of Pinocchio
Written by the Broadway and Disney writing duo Neil Bartram and Brian Hill (The Story of My Life, Bedknobs and Broomsticks), this family musical is based on Carlo Collodi’s classic tale of a wooden puppet longing to be a real boy. Carved out of wood by the lonely toymaker Geppetto, Pinocchio tumbles from one disastrous situation to another in search of adventure—only to discover that, in the end, all he really needs is an unselfish heart and the love of his father. Based on Carlo Collodi’s classic tale, this family musical illuminates the bond between parents and children in a magical performance that is sure to enchant audiences of all ages!
Director Bronagh Langan
For tick, tick… BOOM! (currently at the Park Theatre) and Promises Promises (Southwark Playhouse), Bronagh was nominated Best Director in the Off West End Awards. Her other credits include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Chipping Norton Theatre and Greenwich Theatre), Madness Of Sweeney (Belfast Lyric), James And The Giant Peach (International Tour), Marina Carr’s Portia Coughlan (Old Red Lion Theatre), Howard Goodall’s Girlfriends (Union Theatre) Rags In Concert (Lyric Theatre) and the British premiere of The Stationmaster (From Page To Stage).
Musical Supervisor James Taylor
His recent shows include DISASTER! The Musical – UK premiere (Charing Cross Theatre), Jest End (Waterloo East) and Assistant MD on Sweeney Todd (“Harringtons Pie Shop” and Shaftesbury Avenue)).
13 The Musical
An original musical with music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown, (Parade, The Last Five Years, Bridges of Madison County) and book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, it premiered on Broadway in 2008 and is the only Broadway musical ever with a cast and band entirely made of teenagers.
13 The Musical is an hilarious, coming-of-age musical about discovering that “cool” is sometimes where we least expect it. Geek. Poser. Jock. Beauty Queen. Wannabe. These are the labels that can last a lifetime. With an unforgettable rock score, 13 The Musical is a musical about fitting in – and standing out! Evan Goldman is plucked from his fast-paced, preteen New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town following his parents divorce. Surrounded by an array of simpleminded middle school students, he needs to establish his place in the popularity pecking order. Can he situate himself on a comfortable link of the food chain… or will he dangle at the end with the outcasts?!
Composed of a precocious cast, no character in 13 is older than the show’s title.The cast is comprised entirely of teenagers, but the stories that come to life here are ageless, the emotions they explore timeless, the laughter and the memories they provide priceless.
The British Theatre Academy is a unique performing arts programme that has inspired and nurtured the talent of thousands of young performers over the past 30 years! We believe that children should be trained as professionals by professionals. Our team maintains an established link with casting directors, music producers, and talent agents across the world. We are passionate about releasing the individual skill and flair of each student in all aspects of their chosen field. Our experienced creative team provide exceptional training and are dedicated in preparing and inspiring our students at the highest level. Last Summer the BTA brought The Secret Garden and Godspell into the West End where over 500 outstanding cast members wowed the audiences all summer long and performed alongside musical theatre stars Kerry Ellis, Ramin Karimlooo and George Maguire.
Director and Choreographer Ewan Jones
THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO
Wednesday 28 July – Wednesday 30 August
Running time: 1 hour 15 mins (no intermission)
Presented by arrangement with R & H Theatricals Europe
13 THE MUSICAL
Box Office: 020 7395 5405
Wednesday 16 August Wednesday – 23 August
Running time: 1 hour 45 mins (no intermission)