Weston College lecturer awaits musical call-up in New York

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By YouPR | Tuesday, February 04, 2014, 09:19

Weston College lecturer Andy Collyer is crossing fingers that a musical he is involved with will be taken up by producers in New York.

Andy, a lecturer in Musical Theatre, has written music and lyrics for 'Claus The Musical', a new production that looks at Santa Claus's childhood, showing how he develops into the mythical figure known all over the world.

The story is based on a book, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, by L.Frank Baum, who wrote The Wizard of Oz.

'Claus' is now the subject of scrutiny by a panel of judges from the US-based National Association of Musical Theater after it was endorsed by Mercury Musical Development, a UK organisation dedicated to promoting musical theatre.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard it is going in front of the judges, "Andy said. "It has been endorsed by a prestigious organisation and it's an amazing opportunity to have a show produced in New York, and maybe across the rest of America.

" I'm just hoping that they'll go for a real slice of English whimsy."

A first draft of the show was produced in Southend in 2010. Then London producer Katy Lipson came on board and a writer, Simon Warne, was asked to produce a brand new script.

Once Andy and Simon were satisfied with the script a director was hired and a workshop was held at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, using students on the MA Musical Theatre course.

There is also a rehearsed reading of the musical at London's Landor Theatre on February 14 and 15. A former Weston College student, Sasha Latoyah, is one of those taking part in the reading.

Andy is expecting to hear from the American judges this summer, with a view to the musical being performed off-Broadway, possibly leading to productions in other major American cities in the future.

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