Venue: Sondheim Theatre
Date: 30 May
MD: Nigel Lilley
Director: Hannah Chissick
Host: Jenna Russell
Opening number: "Back in Business" from Dick Tracy
Guest performers: Alex Young; Lucy Carter and Laurie Jones; ensemble from NYMT
Winner: Desmonda Cathabel (RAM)
Runner-up: Ella Shepherd (Bird College Conservatoire))
Third place: Jade Oswald (RAM)
Judges: Edward Seckerson (Chair), Daniel Evans, Theo Jamieson, Liz Robertson, Caroline Sheen, Michael D. Xavier.
New songs courtesy of NEW UK MUSICALS
Caitlyn Allen (she/her) - Arts Ed - BA Hons Musical Theatre (third year)
"There Won't Be Trumpets" / "Poppy's Song" by Michael Webborn & Daniel Finn
I was born and raised in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. I first started singing when I was 6 or 7 years old, after I watched Joseph at the Palladium in 2007. The first experience of performing was when I was 10, I was cast as Annie in Annie at the St Alban Arena. I had always loved musical theatre, so when I was cast in Annie I found it mad that I was up on stage doing what I love. I auditioned for Tring Park when I was 10 and was fortunate enough to win two scholarships for what ended up being seven years of training in musical theatre until I was 18 years old. During my time at Tring, I also took part in Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey at the Milton Keynes Theatre with Vivo D’Arte, a youth theatre production. At Tring, I was fortunate enough to perform in cabarets across London, including at the Shaw Theatre and The Pheasantry.
Sondheim experience: I performed "Take Me to the World" from Evening Primrose and "You Could Drive A Person Crazy" from Company for my first year singing project at ArtsEd, which was an absolute blast.
Favourite Sondheim song: "Stay with Me" from Into the Woods
Favourite Sondheim show: I can’t choose one! Either Into the Woods or Company
Dream MT role: Sally Bowles in Cabaret or Elphaba in Wicked
Who most inspires you?: It’ll have to be Patti LuPone, as she channels every single character she performs with such conviction and power. I’ve always admired that Patti puts the story first no matter what the character, and her powerhouse voice is an amazing bonus to add to the character. Also Patti is the most iconic diva of musical theatre and I adore her work ethic and personality. The passion she has for the theatre is unmatched.
How does it feel to be selected for SSSSPOTY?: I’m so honoured to be selected in the final of SSSSPOTY. I adore Sondheim and to be able to perform on the Sondheim stage honouring his work is incredible. As a graduating actor, I cannot believe that I have been given this amazing opportunity just before I go into the industry as a professional.