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October 26, 2016
Q&A: Anthony Drewe and Elliot Davis on NAMT and Their New Musical “Soho Cinders”
Anthony Drewe
Anthony Drewe

The National Alliance for Musical Theatre will hold its 28th annual Festival of New Musicals on October 27 and 28 at New World Stages. Soho Cinders, by Anthony Drewe (book/lyrics), Elliot Davis (book), and George Stiles (music) is one of eight new musicals this year.

What was the first musical that made you want to make musicals? 

Anthony Drewe: Sweeney Todd. I saw the show in a small production at The Drum (the studio space at Plymouth Theatre Royal, England) in 1983 and, together with George Stiles, decided to have a go at writing a musical.

Elliot Davis: Oliver! I worked with Lionel Bart early on in my career and he was a key mentor to me and started me off as a writer.

Pitch the show in 3 sentences: 

Drewe: Soho Cinders is an urban musical fable, loosely based on Cinderella. Set in and around London's most cosmopolitan and colourful district, it tells of the romance between a young gay guy, Robbie, and a high profile London Mayoral candidate, James Prince. Can Robbie and James find their fairytale ending despite the 'inconvenience' of a fiancée, an overly ambitious spin doctor...and two ugly stepsisters?

Describe the sound of your musical, it's like _____ meets _____:

Drewe: It's like Guys and Dolls meets Legally Blonde.

Davis: It's like Rocky Horror meets Oliver!

Who is your favorite classic musical theater composer/writer? 

Drewe: Frank Loesser.

Davis: Leonard Bernstein.

And your favorite composer/writer working today?

Drewe: Stephen Sondheim.

Davis: Stephen Schwartz.

Elliot Davis
Elliot Davis

What's one thing you would change about the current state of musical theater?

Drewe: I would love to see more entirely original stories become the basis of musicals, rather than being "based on". The film industry attracts great original storytellers, the musical theatre needs more people like Patrick Marber, Richard Curtis, and the late Nora Ephron and John Hughes.

Davis: Access to all economic levels.

Why is it important to bring your show to NAMT?

Drewe: We enjoyed great responses to two earlier entries in the NAMT Festival (Honk! in 1999 and The Three Little Pigs in 2013) which led to a great number of productions, not only in the USA but in other countries too. The NAMT Festival attracts delegates from all around the world and is the most amazing showcase for emerging musicals and writers.

Davis: It is so wonderful opportunity to showcase the work to as wide an audience as possible.

What's next for the show?

Drewe: We are in discussions about doing a London-based, off West End production of Soho Cinders, but we would love to see a big production of it, and hope that the show may have a life beyond the shores of the UK.

Davis: We would love to show to be seen as many people as possible with productions internationally. Meanwhile the show is going to be performed in London in a small (80 seat) fringe theatre during December of this year.

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