As part of its “Union Gold” summer season of cabarets, on Sunday August 12 the Union Theatre will host The Songwriters’ Union - an evening of new musical theatre writing presented by songwriting duo Anderson and Petty, featuring a number of brand new songs from their own musical pens as well as songs by two other rising stars of UK musical theatre songwriting, Laura Tisdall and Christopher J. Orton.
American actor/singer/musician/songwriter Barry Anderson (who is currently touring the USA in the cast of Jersey Boys) and British pop singer turned songwriter Mark Petty have been writing songs together for the last two years (mainly via skype!). They have built up a catalogue of highly acclaimed songs which have been performed in cabarets and concerts in New York and London by some of Broadway and the West End’s finest vocalists. They recently released their first “single” on itunes - “Superman” sung by Broadway’s Autumn Hurlbert (Legally Blonde, Tomorrow Morning) - and have been asked to write a song for the 2012 West End Bares concert in September. Barry and Mark are currently working on writing a “song cycle” and aiming towards recording their first songbook album.
Composer/musical arranger/lyricist Laura Tisdall composed the music for the Hugh Wooldridge/Bill Kenwright UK tour of The Haunting (starring Paul Nicholas), and her first musical, Faerytale, was showcased by the Guildford School of Acting at the Electric Theatre. Songs from Laura’s second musical, The In-Between, were showcased at this year’s West End Live in Trafalgar Square and a concept album of the show with vocals by leading West End stars is currently a “best seller” at Dress Circle.
Christopher J. Orton trained at the Royal Northern College Of Music and the Royal Academy Of Music, since when he has embarked on careers as both actor and composer. Under his stage name of Kit Orton, he recently made his West End debut in the role of Lancelot in Spamalot and previous performing credits include roles in "Peter Pan" (Dublin), “The Hot Mikado“, “Martin Guerre” and “Spend Spend Spend” (all at the Watermill Theatre). As a songwriter, he has written the musicals “This Time Next Week” (with librettist Andre Paul Spring) and Dracula (in collaboration with Gareth Evans and Ian Lynn). Together with librettist & co-lyricist RoBert Gould, he has co-written the musicals “My Land's Shore”, “Elephant Juice“, “Based On A True Story” , “Grace Notes” and "Flop!". A Studio Cast recording of “My Land’s Shore” was released in February 2012 by SimG Records and has received great critical and popular acclaim, including praise from Olivier Award winning songwriters Stiles and Drewe, who described Orton's score as "soaring, passionate and hauntingly melodic".
The Songwriters’ Union cabaret will be performed by a stellar cast of West End vocalists, including:
Georgie Ashford (Legally Blonde)
Craig Rhys Barlow (Tommy, Children Of Eden, Ragtime)
Matthew Barrow (Wizard Of Oz, Sweet Charity, Mary Poppins)
Kieran Brown (Wicked, Love Never Dies)
Michael Burgen (Spamalot)
Nadine Cox (Mamma Mia, Billy Elliot, Wicked)
Sophie Evans (Wizard Of Oz)
Kelly-Anne Gower (Blood Brothers, We Will Rock You, Les Miserables)
Chloe Hart (Wicked, Les Miserables, Hairspray)
Kim Ismay (Mamma Mia, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
Ceili O’Connor (Wizard Of Oz, The Fantasticks)
Edd Post (Jersey Boys, We Will Rock You)
Emily Tierney (Wizard Of Oz, Wicked)
JoNathan Williams (Les Miserables, Godspell)