Zimmerman and Bedella lead musical celebration

Published October 18, 2013

Olivier Award-winning musical theatre stars Leigh Zimmerman and David Bedella will take to the stage at the St James theatre next month to celebrate The S&S Award, a new prize awarded to the best, yet to be produced musical of the year.

The accolade, which is in its inaugural year, has been awarded to Forest Boy, a tuneful tale about lies, imagination and growing up that centres on the real-life story of a boy who appeared in Berlin claiming to have lived in a forest with his father for the past five years.

The stars of A Chorus Line and Jerry Springer The Opera will be joined in the celebration of British theatre on 24 November by former Over The Rainbow contestant and star of Les Misérables Danielle Hope, Caroline Sheen, whose West End credits include Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You’s Hannah Jane Fox, musical theatre veteran and Tony Award winner Elizabeth Seal and Nigel Richards, whose London stage credits include 2000’s Napoleon.

The plethora of performers will lend their vocals to songs from new musicals including The Stationmaster, Counselling Mr Toad and Possessed, which were highly commended by the S&S judges, while recent graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, who created Forest Boy, will perform excerpts of their winning musical.

The S&S Award, which is designed to help new writers develop their musical in the coming year, is the brainchild of writer and lyricist Warner Brown, who commented: “Boy, does new work need to be encouraged! When I first started out, my mentor was David Heneker, composer/lyricist of Half A Sixpence and Irma La Douce. There isn’t a day when I’m not reminded of the things he taught me and the leg up he gave me. The S&S Award is there as a memorial of the past and an encouragement for the future.”