The Stephen Sondheim Society and Mercury Musical Developments today announce West End Musical Director Gareth Valentine as the final judge for the 2019 Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year (SSSSPOTY), alongside the previously announced Julia McKenzie, Peter Polycarpou, and Edward Seckerson.
Lyricist Charles Hart and Olivier Award-winner Jenna Russell join Nkeki Obi-Melekwe and Stiles + Drewe to complete the judging panel for the Stiles + Drewe Best New Song Prize. Winners will be announced at Theatre Royal Haymarket on Sunday 9 June.
Also announced today, the gala will feature guest performances from host Joanna Riding, and from Andy Coxon and Gabriela Garcia, the stars of the sold-out Royal Exchange Theatre production of West Side Story.
The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year, co-produced by The Stephen Sondheim Society and Mercury Musical Developments, sees twelve of the top student performers from musical theatre and drama schools across the UK each perform a song by Stephen Sondheim, and a new musical theatre song written by members of Mercury Musical Developments. The performers are competing for the top prize of £1,000.
The Stiles + Drewe Prize supports and develops new musical theatre writing, recognising an outstanding song from a new musical, and is supported by The Entertainment Business. The winner of Best New Song receives £1,000 to put towards developing their work.