‘Raindrops on noses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens.’ These may have been some of Maria von Trapp’s favourite things, but I have a rather different list: three of the things on mine are musical theatre, cabarets and new writing, so a night out in London which encapsulates all of these is enough to have me skipping around singing about it – though just not as well as Julie Andrews did it.
The compositions of transatlantic song-writing duo Barry Anderson and Mark Petty have been popping up all over the place in recent months, most notably in their debut London concert at the Delfont Room on 8th March 2012. A Night of Anderson and Petty presented a collection of new, original songs by the up-and-coming composing team, performed by well-known West End stars such as Gina Beck (Phantom, Wicked), Kieran Brown (Love Never Dies, Wicked), Siobhan Dillon (Legally Blonde, Ghost), Scott Garnham (Never Forget, Les Miserables) and Chloe Hart (Hairspray, Wicked), among others, and with the added bonus of the students of the MTA and GSA. The night was a huge success for the pair, with the subsequent live performance videos of their songs uploaded on YouTube receiving a very warm and positive response. In light of that success, Anderson and Petty are returning to once again celebrate new musical theatre writing in a follow-up concert.
Anderson and Petty Present: The Songwriter’s Union will present a whole new selection of original songs at the Union Theatre on 12th August 2012, brought to life by the stunning voices of some the West End’s biggest stars. This time however, they won’t just be asking them to perform their compositions, but those of two further bright talents in the new writing field: Christopher J. Orton and Laura Tisdall.
Christopher Orton is a writer and composer, most known perhaps for the Welsh musical My Land’s Shore which was released as a cast album this year with plans for a full stage production to follow. He has worked with his MLS collaborator Robert Gould on a further eight musicals and four plays, including Elephant Juice and Based On A True Story, which was work-shopped at the Jermyn Street Theatre in 2010. In addition to being a writer, Orton is also a stage performer who is soon to be making his West End debut as Sir Lancelot in Spamalot, which comes to the Harold Pinter Theatre this summer following the completion of its UK tour.
Laura Tisdall is a writer and composer who has just finished writing her second show, the fantasy musical The In-Between. A concept album of the musical was recently released, featuring seven tracks and the vocal talents of top West End talents Sabrina Aloueche, Julie Atherton, Daniel Boys, Cassandra Compton, Hadley Fraser, Alexia Khadime, Dianne Pilkington, Lauren Samuels and Liam Tamne. She also wrote the music for the Kenwright/Woodridge touring production of The Haunting and worked as an arranger and orchestrator on events such as The Night of 1000 Voices and Kerry Ellis: Anthems.
Anderson and Petty work very closely with The Make A Difference Trust, raising funds for the charity with their concerts and contributing many songs to their various events, including writing the closing number for the upcoming West End Bares 2012. They also recently released their first single (available through iTunes, Amazon and Spotify) ‘Superman’, which featured Autumn Hurlbert on vocals. Together with Orton and Tisdall, they provide a very promising glimpse at what the future of musical theatre has to offer. Being very familiar with the work of all of these writers, I would encourage anyone who isn’t to remedy that situation by going along to their concert. After all, how can you miss out on the chance to have a little taste of the future, today?
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Tuesday 10th July 2012
Anderson and Petty: The Songwriter’s Union will be held at the Union Theatre on Sunday 12th August 2012, 8pm.