British Youth Music Theatre, in partnership with The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, announce Lewis Cornay is the winner of the New Music Theatre Award 2023.
Lewis thoroughly impressed the panel with their new musical ‘Harry and Greta’, a dystopian retelling of Hansel & Gretel in a future word ravaged by the effects of climate change; there’s no home to go back to and no adults to look after them, so Harry and Greta must unite the children, save the planet and put things right.
Award winner Lewis said: ‘I am over the moon to be writing a brand new musical for BYMT. As a previous young member it feels incredibly full circle to be welcomed back. I know how formative and inspiring the experience can be and I look forward to being able to create in such a nurturing environment. My piece- Harry & Greta- is a dystopian, retelling of the classic tale of Hansel & Gretel. Basically, what happens after our protagonists escape from the witch? Set in the future, the children must unite to find new ways to evolve in a world ravaged by climate change. I can’t wait to work with the young people and collaborate on innovative approaches to climate justice!’
Chosen from a shortlist of ten shows, the final four pitched to a judging panel made up of Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul, Consultant Rachel Victor-Sampson, BYMT Young Company members Amelie Lloyd and Cherry Kwan, BYMT alumnus Luke Bayer and BYMT staff members. The panel were impressed by the inventive brilliance of all the teams pitching, but unanimously agreed that ‘Harry & Greta’ is the perfect show and artist for this opportunity. The show will be developed through 2023 and performed at The New Wolsey, Ipswich in early august 2023. Lewis is the composer, lyricist and librettist and will be working with a dramaturg and arranger to create the show, which will also be workshopped with BYMT’s Young Company in the spring.
New Wolsey Artistic Director and Chief Executive Douglas Rintoul said: ’The calibre of the applications for this award and the level of creativity shown was deeply inspiring. This award is vital in supporting new music theatre voices and giving a platform to the concerns and investigations of a new music theatre making generation. We can’t wait to host this incredibly exciting, energising and unique project here at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich.”
The New Music Theatre Award finds and supports exciting new writers, lyricists, composers, music producers and creators under the age of 30 and based in the UK or Ireland, giving them a platform to develop a brand-new piece to full production with the young people of the BYMT company.
The last NMTA Winners in 2021 were Jack Godfrey and Martha Geelan and their show Babies which received a full production at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, before being licensed and developed by a commercial theatre company with a view to professional production in the future.
British Youth Music Theatre (BYMT) is the leading new musical theatre company for young people, working across the UK and Ireland with West End professionals to offer unique opportunities and high-quality training. Since 2003 they have trained over 8,000 young people, with alumni including Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Lauren Samuels, Charlotte Ritchie, Jack Bence, Lucy Griffiths, Luke McCall, and Bradley Jaden.