Stars including Lizzie Bea, Louise Dearman and Tyrone Huntley are to take part in online concert for Stiles + Drewe’s Best New Song Prize.

The winner of this year’s annual Stiles and Drewe Best New Song Prize will be announced during a ‘virtual concert’ and online ceremony on Sunday 5 July it has been confirmed.

This online concert, taking place from 6pm, will see the fifteen finalists songs being performed by a cast of West End stars including: Allyson Ava-Brown (‘Hamilton’), Luke Bayer (‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’), Lizzie Bea (‘Hairspray’, West End), Louise Dearman (‘Wicked’), Fra Fee (‘The Ferryman’), Tyrone Huntley (Olivier Award nominee for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’), Melanie La Barrie (‘& Juliet’), Natalie Paris (Olivier Award nominee for ‘Six the Musical’), Laura Pitt-Pulford (Olivier Award nominee for ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’), Maiya Quansah-Breed (Olivier Award nominee for ‘Six the Musical’), Lauren Samuels (‘Bend It Like Beckham’), Zizi Strallen (Olivier Award nominated for ‘Mary Poppins’), Alex Thomas-Smith (‘Dear Evan Hansen’), Rebecca Trehearn (Olivier Award winner for ‘Showboat’), Marisha Wallace (‘Dreamgirls’).

It will feature musical direction by Steve Ridley (‘The King & I’, ‘An American in Paris’), Mix Engineer Kevin Porée and  Video Production by Bartek Podkowa. The Event is in aid of Mercury Musical Developments’ ‘Keep Writing’ Support Fund to help struggling writers.

Formed in 2008, musical theatre writing partnership Stiles and Drewe have recognised new musical theatre writing via their annual prize for Best New Song. This is open to members of Mercury Musical Developments (MMD) of which George and Anthony are founding board members. The prize recognises an outstanding song from a new musical, with the winner receiving £1,000 to put towards the development of their work. Previous winners include Theo Jamieson, Adam Wachter, Tamar Broadbent and Tim Sutton.

Talking about the news, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe said: “Together with our fellow judges, to whom we are deeply indebted, we have whittled down this year’s one hundred and sixty seven entries to fifteen finalists – each of which will be performed by a seasoned West End performer in our ‘virtual concert’. With lockdown still inhibiting live theatre performances – which has prevented the normal theatrical presentation of the final songs – we are delighted that Mercury Musical Developments has agreed to take a different approach this year and that Joanne Benjamin and The Entertainment Business have generously co-sponsored the £1,000 cash prize. We hope that technology will be kind to us on the night, and that all our fifteen finalists are heartened, encouraged and happy with the way that their work is to be showcased and celebrated.”

George and Anthony will be joined by guest judges, live on the night, who will help them decide which writing team is awarded the prize – Olivier Award-nominated writers Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss (‘SIX the Musical’), composer and musical director Tim Sutton (‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’, ‘Warhorse’, UK Tour, ‘Memphis’, West End) , Dan Gillespie-Sells (frontman of The Feeling & composer of ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’), and award-winning composer Cassie Kinoshi (former Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer at the Dundee Rep).

The concert will be available to watch  via YouTube on Sunday 5 July at 6pm with this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZwKVy63KJw.