MT Fest UK 2021 announces line up of shows, casts and dates

The full line up of shows and dates have been confirmed for MTFestUK 2021.

The Turbine Theatre’s Artistic Director, Paul Taylor-Mills announced the new musical selection which includes Far From Heaven, #50days, TONY! (A Tony Blair Rock Opera), The Man In the Ceiling, Millennials, HouseFire, Cake and Daisy.

A celebration of new musical theatre, MTFestUK 2021 runs from 1– 13 February and sets out to promote quality artistry with a view to showcasing and elevating projects to full production, giving audiences an insight into the process of creating new work and the art of collaboration. Paul Taylor-Mills launched the inaugural MTFestUK season at The Other Palace in 2019, followed by a 2020 season in February this year, at The Turbine Theatre.

A huge mix of exciting creative talent is involved including Tasha Taylor-Johnson, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Drew McConie, Caroline Kay, Matt White, Thabo Stuck, Harry Hill, Scott Frankel and Poppy Burton Morgan.

Casting will be announced in due course.

MTFestUK 2021 will take place with live shows from 17 to 29 May at the Turbine Theatre. It will then go on a ‘digital tour’ with shows available to stream online via a number of partner theatres across the summer.

For both in-person and digital tour tickets visit the Turbine Theatre website here.

Here’s a full rundown of all the shows…


Book by Richard Greenberg
Music by Scott Frankel
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Directed by Matt White

Cast: Cory English as Stan/Maurice, Tiffany Graves as Mrs Leacock/Mona Lauder/Doreen, Aimee Hodnett as Connie/Nancy, Melanie La Barrie as Sybil, Ako Mitchell as Raymond, Bryce Pinkham as Frank and Scarlett Strallen as Cathy

Cathy Whitaker seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother in 1957 suburban Connecticut. But roiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel, with incendiary consequences. With a lush score that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical, Far From Heaven is a powerful story of romance, betrayal, and intolerance, as a woman grapples with her identity in a society on the verge of upheaval.

Based on the Focus Features/Vulcan Productions motion picture written & directed by Todd Haynes.



Book by Graham Lappin and Mark Anderson
Music by Lee Freeman
Lyrics by Mark Anderson
Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle

Cast: Stephen Ashfield, Chris Draper, Jordan Luke Gage, Idriss Kargbo, Freddie King, Rebecca Lock, Carl Man and Nick McLean.

David has always been different. He really wishes he wasn’t. Despite the acceptance and unconditional love of his parents, his prayers are answered when he discovers the existence of ‘Reality Trek’, a conversion camp for gay men run by ex-gay Donald and his lord-abiding wife, Bernice. With faith on their side, they guide David and his camp campmates through the programme, but when the illegally-handsome Rory arrives late, David faces the ultimate test on the path to the straight and narrow



Created and written by Thabo Stuck
Musical Supervisor Duramaney Kamara
Directed by Ajjaz Awad

Cast: Aminita Francis as Digby/Prince of Wales, Nadine-Rose Johnson as Queen Henrietta, Reuben Joseph as King Charles, Kyran Mitchell-Nanton as Pym, Robert Saunders as Lillburn/Lucy Haye and Cleve September as Manchester

#50days is a Grime Musical which tells the story of the period when the very foundations of England were shattered. It is December 1641 and King Charles is about to be formally challenged by a handful of MPs and radical commoners, who share the belief that ALL men are born equal. Many in England, now a Protestant country, are enraged by the notion that the French-born Catholic Queen Henrietta and King Charles are ruling over them. One of these critics is John Pym, a Member of Parliament and prominent opponent of Kingship, who issues a challenge to the King’s power. In a world ruled by men, who are the women in this story? What are they fighting for? Through propaganda and shrewd political manoeuvring, the nation is about to be plunged head first into a conflict that pitted neighbour against neighbour and shattered the very core of our constitution.

#50days creator Thabo Stuck, challenges the notion of how history is discoursed.

“This is an interpretation of British history told through the eyes of underrepresented Brits today.”

TONY (A Tony Blair Rock Opera)

Book and Lyrics by Harry Hill and Steve Brown
Music by Steve Brown
Director Peter Rowe
Musical Director Sarah Travis

Cast: Jenna Boyd as Prescott, Scott Garnham as Tony, Gemma Knight Jones as Princess Di, Marie Lawrence as Cherie, Simon Lipkin as Mandy, Nicola Sloane as Mrs Blair and Paul Thornley as Kinnock

A reckless reappraisal of the life of former Bad Rumours front man and Britain’s first pop Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The story of how one man went from peace loving, long haired hippy and would-be pop star to warmongering multimillionaire in just a couple of decades.

An hilarious tragedy of political intrigue, religion, power and romance that plays fast and loose with the facts, owing as much to Citizen Kane as it does to The Marx Brothers – Karl and Groucho.

Throw in a cast of larger-than-life characters – Cherie Blair, Princess Diana, John Prescott, Peter Mandelson, Alistair Campbell, Osama Bin Laden, George W Bush, Saddam Hussein, Gordon Brown and of course that dodgy dossier.

All set to rockin’ tunes.



Music and Lyrics Andrew Lippa
Book Jules Feiffer

Cast: Matthew Croke as Father, Jazz Jenkins as Lisi, Lippa as Older Jimmy and Sharon Rose as Mother

12 year-old Jimmy Jibbett would rather be a successful cartoonist than be in 7th grade. His father disapproves. His mother is busy. His uncle tries to understand but is too wrapped up trying to write a love song for his next flop musical. Where can Jimmy turn for inspiration and hope? Maybe THE MAN IN THE CEILING can lead him to his true destiny…If only Jimmy would look up!

A collaboration between Jules Feiffer, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning cartoonist and celebrated author, and Tony-nominated composer-lyricist Andrew Lippa, THE MAN IN THE CEILING is an uplifting tale about following your creative passion against all odds.



Music, Book and Lyrics by Elliot Clay
Director Luke Sheppard

Cast: Luke Bayer, Allie Daniel, Beth Hinton-Lever, Nathan Lorainey-Dineen, Tim Mahendran, Grace Mouat and Jodie Steele

MILLENNIALS turns up the microphone on the lives, the losses and the frustrations of young people in the modern world. A generation that is so often defined by tabloid headlines, tweets and of course, avocados, pick up the mic and transport us inside their extraordinarily ordinary lives. Written and composed by Elliot Clay, this powerful and uplifting collection of songs runs the gamut of modern pop-music and sends musical theatre hurtling into the 21st Century.



Book & Lyrics by Poppy Burton Morgan
Music by Felix Hagan
Directed by Poppy Burton Morgan

Cast: Alex Cardall as Alan, Eleanor Kane as Ginger and Robin Simões da Silva as Leo

A trio of endangered animals form a rock band to protest against the climate crisis. Leo, the snow leopard lead singer, rages against the annihilation of their world, Ginger the Orangutan, on keys, has her own tale to tell about the traumas of deforestation, while Alan the elephant is keeping time on the drums. But their newly rebranded group ‘HouseFire’ is under threat from their corporate manager getting them to pander to the very capitalist system they want to destabilize. Entering Britain’s Got Talent is a great way to reach more people with their message, but it puts a strain on their already fractious relationships, and is it all just too little too late… Fierce, frenetic and fun – this gig-theatre musical will set your world on fire.



Music and Lyrics by Jack McManus and Tasha Taylor Johnson
Book and Lyrics by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
Director Drew McOnie

Cast: Tori Allen-Martin as Judge/Nicole, Emma Kingston as Jeanne, Phoebe Panaretos as Marie Antoinette and Sebastien Torkia as The Cardinal

Cake combines rap and RnB with 18th century France to retell a story that sparked a revolution. When Marie Antoinette married King Louis, her reputation was already tarnished by gossip. But when she is implicated in a crime to defraud the crown jewellers of a diamond necklace, it is not just her reputation at stake, but the monarchy and France itself.

Cake was commissioned by Paul Taylor-Mills whilst he was Artistic Director of The Other Palace where it appeared under its former title Killer Queen.

About the author: Rachel Wise

UK based freelancer journalist Rachel contributes regularly to Stageberry with features and interviews from the hottest new shows and stage stars.