Grant McConvey sang 'Don't Look Down' to Stiles & Drewe prize-winning effect at the Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year competition two years ago. Now THE SUPERHERO, the one-man musical from which it hails, receives its world premiere at Southwark Playhouse. Who will star in the premiere production?
The world premiere of a brand new one-man musical will be the first musical to be performed in Southwark Playhouse’s Little space. The Superhero – written by Richy Hughes, Joseph Finlay and Michael Conley – runs from 28 June to 22 July 2017, with a press night on 30 June.
The musical, based on an original idea by Richy Hughes, concerns a Fathers4Justice style protest and features the Stiles and Drewe Prize-winning song ‘Don’t Look Down’.
How far would you go to see your child? Colin and Christine split up five years ago. Now Christine is taking their daughter to Los Angeles with her new job, and there’s nothing Colin can do about it. Or is there?
‘Good afternoon, your honour. I’m Colin Bradley. I’m here today to ask you, your honour, not to let Christine Davis, my ex-wife, move out of the country with Emily Bradley, my daughter.’
The Superhero is directed by Adam Lenson (The Sorrows of Satan, Whisper House, Songs for a New World) and presented by Tim Johanson Productions. Casting and further creative details are to be announced.
Lyricist Richy Hughes learnt his craft for lyric writing at The Book, Music and Lyrics (BML) workshop in London. He worked as lyricist on Mr Popper’s Penguins (New Victory Theatre, 42nd St NYC, Criterion, UK Tour). In 2015 Don’t Look Down from The Superhero won The Stiles and Drewe Prize for Best New musical theatre song. His song The Beautiful Game, written with composer Darren Clark won this year’s Xmas Factor competition (Iris Theatre). Richy has contributed songs to A Song Cycle for Soho (Soho Theatre) and Mercury Musical Development’s 25th Anniversary Gala (Novello Theatre). His comic parodies of popular songs have had over half a million YouTube hits.
Composer and musical director Joseph Finlay trained at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. The Superhero is his first professionally produced musical. Other shows include This is Also England with Raphael Smith, which was showcased at From Page to Stage new musicals festival in 2015 (Tristan Bates Theatre) and the BEAM conference at the Park Theatre. He is also working on Bully for Theseus with Raphael Smith and Operation Magic Carpet with Tamsin Collison. He is a member of the Book, Music and Lyrics advanced workshop for writers of new musical theatre. As a classical composer he has had works performed by many ensembles including the Britten Sinfonia, the London Sinfonietta, the BBC Singers, the Leibniz Trio, The Solstice Quartet, and The New London Children’s Choir. As a musical director his credits include The Mirror Never Lies (Cockpit Theatre), Soviet Zion (Lost Theatre), Pins and Needles (Cock Tavern), News Revue (Canal Cafe Theatre), Desire Caught by the Tail (Arcola) and West Side Story (Cambridge Arts Theatre). He also works extensively in Jewish music: he is Musical Director of Hendon Reform Synagogue and the London Jewish Male Choir, and accompanist for the Golden Peacock Yiddish song school.
Michael Conley is a lyricist and librettist. His credits include the English adaptation of Vidal & Salvia’s The Prince and the Pauper (nominated for five awards at the 2012 Midtown International Theatre Festival, New York including Outstanding Musical Production and Outstanding Music & Lyrics for a Full Production) and Matches which was presented as part of The New York Theatre Barn’s 2016 New Works Series. While living in New York, he hosted a weekly revue of stand-up and musical comedy (the critically acclaimed Gay and Lesbian Comedy Fest) at Don’t Tell Mama. In 2002, the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) nominated his song The Drinking Song (written with David Maiocco) for outstanding special material. Michael also contributed opening numbers to two MAC-award winning shows, The Poole Party and The Next Big Broadway Musical. He wrote and starred in Hello, Boys! a musical revue of songs he wrote with Matthew Loren Cohen. For this show he was nominated for another MAC award and received the Cabaret Hotline award for Musical Theatre Performer. In London he is an active member of Mercury Musical Development (MMD) and been a part of Chris Grady’s A Month of Sundays and A Month of Sundays Plus. He is a founding (and board) member of the Book, Music and Lyrics writing programme and participates in MMD’s Writing Lab. His current projects in development include The Little Beasts (What Happens to Naughty Children), written with Luke Bateman, which is being developed by Perfect Pitch and will play Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace later this year. Other projects include Personality, written with Luke Bateman – based on the novel by Andrew O’Hagan.
Director Adam Lenson’s credits include the twentieth anniversary production of Songs For A New World (St. James Theatre), The Sorrows of Satan (Tristan Bates), Disgraced (English Theatre Frankfurt), Dark Tourism (Park Theatre), Ghost: The Musical (GSA), See What I Wanna See (Jermyn Street Theatre), Reel Life (Ustinov, Bath and St. James Studio), The Goodbye Girl (Upstairs at the Gatehouse), West End Recast (Duke of York’s Theatre, Phoenix Theatre), Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios), Little Fish and Saturn Returns (Finborough Theatre), Come Fly With Me (Salisbury Playhouse), The Dead Guy (English Theatre Frankfurt) and The Family (Old Vic US/UK Exchange, Public Theater, NY). Associate and assistant directing includes work with Terry Johnson, John Doyle, Victoria Wood, Stephen Daldry, Nancy Meckler, Roxana Silbert, Maria Friedman, David Grindley and Lindsay Posner at venues including Hampstead Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Menier Chocolate Factory and in the West End. In 2016, he was the recipient of a Kevin Spacey Artist of Choice Award for which he is currently developing Wasted, a new rock musical based on the Brontës which had a workshop production at West Yorkshire Playhouse in October. Adam produces and hosts the podcast Dischord (@DishordTheatre) that debates and discusses new musical theatre. You can find it on iTunes (bit.ly/DishordTheatre). Future directing includes Whisper House by Duncan Sheik and Kyle Jarrow (The Other Palace / St James Theatre).