#RoadToTheOliviers Episode 2 – Mastercard Best New Musical


Well welcome as we gear up for the
Olivier Awards with Mastercard on the 7th of April we’re here with a very
special Road To The Oliviers broadcast with a really esteemed panel to talk
about the musical nominations for this year first of all Susie McKenna theatre
director Paul Taylor-Mills producer and Ann Treneman from The Times welcome all
of you. Thank you. So we’d like to talk a little bit about the four best new
musical nominees maybe we should take them in alphabetical order then there’s
no indication of any preference so first of all Come From Away this extraordinary
musical set in Gander in Newfoundland about the planes that landed there in 9/11
what’s your thoughts. Well I loved it and it’s very and to me it just
excels in a warm and heartfelt story. It’s very brave and actually for somebody you know
if you imagine the tagline I’ve got this great idea and you can imagine people going “what?!”
you know but I think for me it’s a story that we all need right now because it’s
actually I sat there going humanity is okay yeah. It’s very
life-affirming. It’s okay in Canada. Yeah I wanted to get on a
plane actually but no I and I think the craftsmanship of the pieces
is great and it’s so refreshing as you say the Bluegrass and the rock and
to hear a different feel of score it just made me want to at the end you
just want to get up and dance. Extraordinary ensemble cast for those
who haven’t seen it where everyone’s playing multiple roles continually and
yet those roles are very distinct it’s very clever isn’t it. It’s not confusing. I love the human
element of it it just felt like it’s such an important story for now and like
you I saw it in New York and I did worry about how it might translate for a
British audience but actually it’s about the power of humanity and what happens
in the face of tragedy and everyone pulls together and it’s refreshing I
think that the sound is so different to anything else that we have at the moment.
And the staging you know is incredibly I mean I was talking to some
of the cast afterwards and they were saying was an absolute head…Rachel
Tucker is brilliant…right you know driving them crazy because they it’s all so subtle
but they have a certain amount of time within the music to hit
those marks and all that seamless in that way really precise and
really well done and as you say the performance the central performances
are great vocals are great. Imagine those rehearsals on that revolve. Yes.
I was thinking that having said that I love going to see shows where you sit
there you go I’d quite like to have been in that. Yeah and I did sit there going.
So moving on the second nominee is Fun Home which obviously also originally
mounted in the States about a slightly dysfunctional family I guess. Yeah.
Thoughts? It’s very niche isn’t it it’s very niche and for me the amazing
thing about Fun Home I love Janine’s music she’s a bit of a chameleon and can
do anything and I quite like the fact that it simmers all the way through and
it’s always just bubbling. What I like the most about it is the way it just
flows just seamlessly and that was really nice we didn’t get stuck on
anything and it’s quite a dark story in many ways and the main character is the
father who’s a very difficult and troubled person and he was brilliant
I thought. I think it’s great he was nominated. Yes, right. And of course a
wonderful role for the young girl in it as well the daughter in the family
yes yeah so coming on to something then completely different as far removed
almost from Fun Home as you can get is Six this new…We love Six! Ann, why don’t you explain what
Six is for people who haven’t seen it yet. I started at the Fringe in Edinburgh. Which is
where it started in August. So I went into this you know absolutely long snaking
queue got in there and the energy was already so pumped up and it’s basically
the six wives of Henry VIII telling him just like it really is for them and
it’s absolutely great quite a mix of music. I loved it and I had the best time
but as the show was going on I wanted some resolve at the end that actually
women didn’t have to compete all the time there was a part of me going and
and they do do that and they do come together and but the actual the
performance is a superb the staging is great for me was the fact that how
accessible and how empowering it was for a young girl to go and see a show like
that and to all of us like me going to see Entire female cast entire female on
stage band yes it’s quite something in the West End to have that. Yeah what an incredible story for them
to have started this at the Edinburgh Fringe and the journey of this show now
to have had a life have producers and creators invested in them and it’s now
gone on to have an open run and I just think it’s such an important story for
the development of new British musicals and how exciting that there’s
one in there that has had that trajectory. It’s essential for the future
of our industry over here in terms of how we support new writing because it’s
not cheap and it is long winded and it does take a lot of passion from the likes of you Paul.
Two incredibly young British writers. Yeah. So finally then Tina the Tina
Turner musical. It’s a great night out. Perhaps of all of them has this incredible central performance or maybe two centraI performances. Paul what do you think? People love Tina Turner you know and like you said
she’s astonishing. This is Adrienne Warren. Absolutely brilliant. And Kobna who plays Ike.
You know actually the nasty husband if you like a rather
difficult role. Yeah you don’t want it to be caricatured and you and he finds the
humanity in there and the if you like the frustrations of that. I
think you know the genius of Tina the Tina Turner Musical is that they have not ignored the difficult parts
to start in Nutbush Tennessee and really a very grim sort of situation for
her was quite brave I think and I think personally it’s the making of the
musical because we’re not just kidding that the slightly glitzed over you know
she could have not had that she could have just really you know done her career because it’s interesting enough without but the whole thing I think
worked fantastically and I was very impressed that they did the depth. I
think after a film like What’s Love Got To Do With It which I think is
one of the best biopics you could do I think anybody trying to approach her
story had to acknowledge that and but to do that in the musical theatre form with
a popular audience as well and successfully is not easy not all. We are
all in vehement agreement with each so it’s time to nail your
colours to the mast if you were if you were voting who would be
your winner of the four then Susie let’s start with you. Oh it’s so hard. That’s the nature of awards I’m afraid.
Because it’s British I’m gonna put my partisan hat on because it’s British because it’s new
because it’s fresh and young people will really if it can bring a really new
young audience and it empowers girls I think Six but the craftsmanship of
Come From Away is just so amazing you’re torn between those two. Paul. I think they’re
all brilliant but I think it has to be Six and what a brilliant story if it is
you know we have to fight the fight for new British musicals the like I said
before the trajectory of that show is brilliant you’ve got these two very
young writers we have to support it support them and what a brilliant story
it would be for more producers to take risks on new British musicals if we said
you know what they did it and they’ve won an Olivier like how incredible. We’ve been
talking about it for so long. Ann. Well the six people are up for
a few others kinds of awards but I have to say that it would
send a major message and I was so pleased to see it on the list in the
first place because I thought wow someone’s you know and kind of made a
most effort here and it just feels so much it just feels so fresh. Brilliant
all of you thank you for your comments. Thanks a lot. Thank you.

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