Perfect Pitch and Theatre Royal Stratford East are delighted to announce the winners of the 2015/16 Perfect Pitch Award for Musical Theatre Writing. Daniel York and Craig Adams won the £12,000 prize for their piece ‘Sinking Water’ and the opportunity to collaborate on a new musical in a ceremony held today at St James’s Theatre. The winners are now tasked with writing a full draft of a new show in a 12-month period towards a professional staged reading and/or production supported and mentored throughout by Perfect Pitch and Theatre Royal Stratford East.
The finalist teams were selected from nearly 200 applications and each pitched ten minutes of their idea for a new musical to experienced judges from the theatre world including Musical Theatre star and Perfect Pitch’s Patron Michael Ball, Comedian and writer of The Infidel the Musical (Theatre Royal Stratford East, 2014), David Baddiel, double Olivier Award nominee, Kate Prince, multi-award winning playwright Roy Williams and Theatre Royal Stratford East Resident Director Pooja Ghai.
Writers from across the UK applied as individuals to take part in the scheme and successful candidates were paired up with a collaborator to work on a 10-minute pitch of a new musical which was presented in rehearsed reading format before a panel of experienced industry judges.
The other shortlisted writing teams were:
Ashton Moore & Ben Fensome
Gavin Whitworth, Shireen Mula & Joe Von Malachowski
Zara McFarlane & May Sumbwanyambe
Andy Barnes, Executive Director at Perfect Pitch said: ‘We’re really delighted that we get to start a brand new journey with this fantastic new and hugely talented writing team of Daniel York and Craig Adams with a gem of an idea for something completely original, and on the same day that ‘The Go-Between’, one of the shows we’ve developed, has had its West End transfer announced. It’s an exciting time for the British musical right now!
Kerry Michael, Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Stratford East said: “I’m delighted that Daniel York and Craig Adams have been announced as the winners of the Perfect Pitch award 2015/2016.
“We had a remarkable group of finalists, all working hard to break new ground with British Musical Theatre, something we are firmly committed to at Theatre Royal Stratford East. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate them all on their work, which we were able to experience today. Judging by the calibre of entrants, British musical theatre writing is in extremely capable hands and I look forward to seeing what all of them do next. However today there could be only one winner and I am delighted that the award has gone to Daniel and Craig.
“Their piece Sinking Water takes place in the midst of events surrounding the tragic drowning of 23 illegal migrant Chinese cockle pickers in Morcambe Bay. York Loh and Adams have used those terrible events as the framework while exploring other characters around the tragedy, the local councilors, journalists and economic pressures that were brought to bear on the Chinese protagonists. This is a stirring and emotive piece of theatre which asks bigger questions of the British psyche, our attitude to cheap labour, migrants and foreign deaths. A beautifully, thoughtful piece”.