Shortlist revealed for Musical Theatre Review’s Best Musical Award at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Musical Theatre Review

The shortlist of ten nominated shows for Musical Theatre Review’s inaugural Best Musical Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been announced today.

In the 70th anniversary of the Fringe, Musical Theatre Review has launched the award to celebrate the excellence of musical theatre product presented at the world’s largest annual arts event.

In the following week, the nominated shows will be assessed by the voting panel, led by Festival Editor Fiona Orr. The winner will be announced on Friday 25 August.

The ten nominated shows are:

STOP (Fishbowl Productions present the OUDS National Tour; C south)

“It’s fortunate that C south has a lovely garden to pass through after this show – take your time and absorb what you have seen, heard and felt. Process those emotions. Then tell everyone you can what an exceptional show this is.”

BURIED – A NEW MUSICAL (Colla Voce Theatre; C too)

Buried is something we are all looking for – one of those nuggets that is waiting to be found.”

ATLANTIC – A SCOTTISH STORY (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; Assembly Hall)

“Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie have created a mature, thought-provoking piece with a clear story, beautifully told with a refreshing perspective.”

CREATIVES (STL CityWorks; Pleasance Courtyard)

“One feels that as it stands, this show is the basis for something greater that could develop into a full-length musical theatre piece of considerable merit.”

THRILL ME – THE LEOPOLD AND LOEB STORY (Richard Williamson and Climar Productions with Nicholas Abrams; C too)

“The tension is palpable from the outset – you can literally feel audience members hold their breath and every gasp at twists in this superbly scripted piece.”

THE TOXIC AVENGER (Aria Entertainment and Flying Music; Pleasance Courtyard)

“The greatest strength of this show is Joe DiPietro and David Bryan’s score – pounding rock with the occasional power ballad – the music matched by stunning vocal performances from every member of the cast.”

OLD STOCK – A REFUGEE LOVE STORY (2b theatre company with Aurora Nova; CanadaHub @ King’s Hall in association with Summerhall)

“The music, the vocal performances and musicianship are all excellent here – emotionally engaging, visually stunning and at 80 minutes leaves us still wanting more.”

A SUPER HAPPY STORY (ABOUT FEELING SUPER SAD) (Silent Uproar in association with LittleMighty; Pleasance Courtyard)

“Utterly bright and cheerful at the onset, when she sings rich lyrics from the depths of the depression the music is there with her, both supporting her where she is and offering a possibility of hopefulness, and it seems a congruent journey on every level.”

ORDINARY DAYS (Streetlights, People! Productions; C royale)

“The apparent simplicity of the score delineates mood and tone perfectly and the talented cast follow the lead, creating almost magical moments.”

SiX (Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society; Sweet Grassmarket)

SiX is the fiercely revamped, musical history lesson I never knew I craved and a Fringe must-see.”

MTR publisher Lisa Martland said: “Congratulations to all the shows nominated for this year’s inaugural Best Musical Award.

Musical theatre is far too often dismissed for lacking substance, but one only has to look at these impressive examples of the genre to see that that is far from the truth.

“These innovative pieces, created by ensembles ranging from student groups to more established theatre companies, tackle history, politics, relationships, passion, crime, trends in society, artistic integrity, superheroes, mental illness and prejudice. It’s hard to get more wide-ranging than that.

“In recent years there has been a growing percentage of musical theatre shows at the Fringe, yet the art form continues to receive much less profile than straight theatre and comedy.

“These productions are essential to the genre’s future (and the development of new work), so the more we can do to highlight and recognise emerging talent, the better.

Musical Theatre Review wished to create a unique Edinburgh award – specifically for musical theatre.”