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Alternative Eurovision Song Contest raises £7,400 for The Care Workers’ Charity

Jenna RussellThe Showstoppers’ Alternative Eurovision Song Contest raises £7,400 for The Care Workers’ Charity and may become an annual eve-of-Eurovision event.

Olivier Award winner Jenna Russell is the latest West End star to challenge The Showstoppers to compose a new song against the clock… in the style of ‘Hello, Dolly!’

Staged as a tribute to this year’s cancelled Eurovision Song Contest, Olivier Award-winning musical comedy improvisers The Showstoppers raised £7,400 on Friday evening for the Care Workers’ Charity by delivering their very own Alternative Eurovision Song Contest.

Featuring brand new songs parodying familiar Eurovision genres, The Showstoppers recreated the OTT production values, high camp, and musical merriment of the world-famous competition, in a hilarious evening complete with commentary by Tom Allen, celebrity judges and interactive public voting.

The winner was Germany with ‘Bundesliga Dankeschoen Schmetterling Muttersöhnchen’ followed by France (’Super Sweet’) and Finland (‘Domino’). And it was such a success that it could become an annual event staged the night before the actual Eurovision Song Contest!

Today Olivier award-winning Jenna Russell became the latest West End star to challenge The Showstoppers to compose a musical theatre song in just 24 hours. Following Ramin Karimloo, Elaine Paige and Derren Brown, Jenna, who was to star alongside Imelda Staunton in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ in the West End this summer, threw down the gauntlet for the improvisers to compose a new song about someone losing internet and phone reception during Lockdown in the style of ‘Hello, Dolly!’ – in just 24 hours!

Watch her challenge with this link

The finished song – recorded by the cast who are all isolated from each other – will be unveiled on social media at 11am on Tuesday 19 May.

Twitter: @TheShowstoppers Facebook:theshowstoppers Instagram: @showstoppermusical

Jenna Russell began her career with the RSC playing Fantine in ‘Les Miserables’. After appearing in three shows at The Bridewell theatre (‘On A Clear Day’, ‘Hello Again’ and ‘The Cutting Edge’) she played Deborah Gilder in the hugely popular ITV series ‘Born and Bred’. From 1990 to 1992 she played Maggie Lomax in BBC’s ‘On the Up’. She also sang the theme song to ‘Red Dwarf.’

In 2005 she appeared as the Floor Manager in the Doctor Who episodes ‘Bad Wolf’ and ‘The Parting of the Ways’ and also played the lead role of Sarah Brown in ‘Guys and Dolls’ in the West End opposite Ewan McGregor and Nigel Harman, earning an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical.

In 2006, she received the for Best Actress in a Musical Olivier Award as Dot in the London revival of ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ and She subsequently played Amy with Felicity Kendal in the play ‘Amy’s View.’ In 2008 Jenna made her Broadway debut with the transfer of ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ and won a Theatre World Award, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actress in a Musical as well as a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. She has appeared in ‘Into the Woods’ twice. For the Donmar Warehouse production in 1998, she played Cinderella. For the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in 2010, she played the role of the Baker’s Wife. Her other roles include ‘Soho Cinders’ (Soho Theatre), Mary in Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ (Menier Chocolate Factory /Harold Pinter Theatre), Penelope Pennywise in ‘Urinetown: The Musical’ (St. James Theatre/Apollo Theatre), she starred with Sheila Hancock in the first UK production of ‘Grey Gardens’ (Southwark Playhouse), Mephistopheles in ‘Dr Faustus’ (Duke of Yorks), Helen in ‘Fun Home’ (Young Vic) and Francesca Johnson in ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ (Menier Chocolate Factory).

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical
Showstopper! The Improvised Musical has been a rip-roaring success since the show started in 2008. It has had 12 sell-out years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, two West End runs, an Olivier award for Best Entertainment and Family Show and a BBC Radio 4 series. In the show, the audience meets a writer of musicals who is on a deadline – and needs their help. The audience shouts out suggestions of a setting, musical styles and the title of the show and they’re off! The Showstopper team – cast and band – then weave a brand-new musical in front of the very eyes of the audience, complete with hilarious characters, fabulous dance routines, beautiful songs, epic story lines, all sprinkled with the pizzazz of a Broadway show.

During lockdown whilst The Showstoppers are prevented from improvising musicals together – technology isn’t yet fast enough to keep up with them across multiple locations! – the company have been entertaining audiences by turning their talents to writing and recording songs from their homes.

During this period they have completed 24 Hour Song Challenges for Elaine Paige, Ramin Karimloo and Derren Brown, featuring a subject matter and a musical style of each celebrity’s choosing plus two full episodes of The Showstoppers’ Online Storytime for Kids. Online Storytime is based entirely on children’s suggestions offered on social media which is then improvised at home, recorded and edited into brand new content for families.

Both the 24 Hour Song Challenges and the Online Storytime episodes can be watched on


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