Royal & Derngate today announced that it is releasing a concept album on 27 March for a new digital musical commissioned for online and social media distribution called #ZoologicalSociety and written by multi-award-winners Vikki Stone and Katie Mulgrew. The release will be launched with a live concert performance at BEAM 2020, the UK’s leading showcase of new British musical theatre, taking place at Royal & Derngate. In line with the announcement, a short film by award-winning animator Tim Wheatley has been released to introduce each of the musical’s characters and the album will be available to stream or to download from all leading streaming services including Spotify, Amazon and Apple alongside Royal & Derngate’s website.
The first of a series of entirely original musical commissions that Royal & Derngate will announce this month, #ZoologicalSociety’s concept album features a host of musical theatre stars, including Natasha Barnes (Funny Girl), Olivier Award-winner Sharon D Clarke (Caroline, Or Change) Arthur Darvill (Once, Sweet Charity), Louise Dearman (Wicked, Evita), Evening Standard Award-winner Tyrone Huntley (Jesus Christ Superstar), Lucie Jones (Waitress), Perrier Award-winning comedian and actor Jason Manford (The Producers, Curtains), Trevor Dion Nicholas (Aladdin, Hamilton) and Vikki Stone herself with the accompaniment of the London Musical Theatre Orchestra and Chorus.
The album release will be accompanied by a live concert performance at BEAM 2020 on Friday 27 March, at 10.15am which will also feature Charlie Baker (Never Mind the Buzzcocks), Bronté Barbé (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical), Irvine Iqbal (Aladdin), Jemima Rooper (Little Shop of Horrors), T’Shan Williams (Heathers The Musical) and Matt Willis (Busted).
Royal & Derngate’s Artistic Director James Dacre announced: “Commissioned and created for digital distribution on social media platforms, Vikki Stone and Katie Mulgrew have collaborated with an extraordinary range of musical theatre talents in creating their outrageous new musical #ZoologicalSociety, which will reveal the innermost thoughts of a troupe of loveable zoo animals both onstage and online: from gossiping giraffes and depressed monkeys to a penguin nervous about becoming a single mother and two pandas feeling the pressure to procreate, this brand new musical comedy is definitely for grown ups only!”
Vikki Stone is an award-winning writer, composer, actor and comedian, who has appeared on many major TV and radio stations. As a composer, her works include The Thing That Matters, a massed choral work, commissioned by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, and Concerto for Comedian and Orchestra, which premiered at Glastonbury Festival. In 2019, Vikki was a finalist for the Stiles and Drew Best New Song Prize.
Award-winning writer, actor and stand-up comedian, Katie Mulgrew has been heard on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2 and seen on CBBC and ITV2. As a stand-up she’s performed three stand-up shows (Your Dad’s Not funny, Happily Ever After and Saboteur) at the Edinburgh Fringe. Her play, Omnibus was shortlisted for the Tobacco Theatre prize and won the inaugural Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize.
Music for #ZoologicalSociety was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Joe and Nikki Davison at Auburn Jam Music, with additional recording at Masterchord Studios, engineered by Ronan Phelan.
#ZoologicalSociety has been developed as part of Royal & Derngate’s initiative to create a number of new musicals over the coming years, working with a consortium of partners, supported by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence programme.
To view the trailer visit https://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/news/zoologicalsociety/