Laurence Olivier Award-winning song-writing team George Stiles and Anthony Drewe celebrate 25 years of collaboration on 6 July, in a gala concert at Her Majesty’s in support of Mercury Musical Developments. A Spoonful Of Stiles & Drewe stars performers who have previously appeared in Stiles and Drewe’s work alongside some of the West End’s exciting emerging talent, and features songs from the pair’s back catalogue along with a preview of their new show, Soho Cinders.
Among the performers taking part in the quarter of a century party are West End regulars Joanna Riding, Clive Rowe and Claire Moore, Wicked stars James Gillan and Oliver Tompsett, former Mary Poppins Scarlett Strallen, original Avenue Q lead Julie Atherton, Alison Jiear and Leanne Jones, who won the 2008 Best Actress in a Musical Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in Hairspray. The writing duo, more used to staying behind the scenes, will also be making an onstage appearance.
Composer Stiles and lyricist Drewe met while students at Exeter University and within a year of leaving had written their first show Tutankhamun. So confident, or full of youthful ambition, were they that they booked the Northcott theatre before a single note had been written.
Their subsequent shows have included Just So, based on Kipling’s stories, which won the 1985 Vivian Ellis Prize, Peter Pan and Honk!, which won the 2000 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The team also contributed additional songs and music to the recent production of Mary Poppins and provided the score for the Barbican’s 2007 production of Jack And The Beanstalk.
Stiles and Drewe are board members for Mercury Musical Developments (MMD), which was established in 1992 as a centre to nurture and encourage writers and composers of musical theatre. MMD strives to help emerging writers, lyricists and composers develop their work through seminars, craft sessions, workshops, writers’ labs and residencies, under the watchful eye of tutors and mentors, in the hope of producing the next Stiles and Drewe.
Tickets for the Sunday evening event cost from £20-£45 (VIP seats £100, including access to the after-show party), and can be bought from the box office: 0844 412 4657.