Sondheim Session #1: Another Vodka Stinger with Oscar
As a result of our annual Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year (SSSSPOTY) being cancelled, owing to Covid-19, we will be launching instead our first online Sondheim Sessions this Sunday. Another Vodka Stinger will feature Oscar Conlon-Morrey, a previous SSSSPOTY prizewinner in 2017, who will be performing a cabaret-style concert showcasing Sondheim numbers arranged by Jason Carr, acclaimed Sondheim orchestrator (Sunday in the Park with George and West Side Story) and accompanist, having worked closely with Maria Friedman. Oscar will also include a song from one of our successful young composers, Eamonn O’Dwyer, in line with Sondheim’s commitment to supporting new writing.
Sondheim Sessions is free to all via Crowdcast – click here to register – but there will be a donation link attached to raise funds for SSSSPOTY, so that new Sondheim Masterclasses and Workshops can be developed to support young performers.
An additional feature for Society members only, will be the chance to sip a Vodka Stinger straight after the concert, with Oscar in an exclusive Q&A Zoom session. If you're not a member, click here to find our more and to join.
Craig Glenday, Chairman of the Stephen Sondheim Society, said:
“Sondheim Sessions is another opportunity to platform musical-theatre talent and Sondheim’s work. We are particularly delighted to welcome back Oscar Conlon-Morrey, who in 2017 impressed Julia McKenzie so much that she had to create a special prize for him! He has since gone on to great success, and only this year was nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical, for Only Fools and Horses. It was also very important to us, when developing these events, that we ensure all parties are paid for their work, as these are difficult times. It is our chance to support the theatre industry and we will be looking for more opportunities to fund projects in the future. So watch this space!”
Oscar Conlon-Morrey said:
“I am so grateful to be asked to do this inaugural Sondheim Session. I’ve been sat at home alone, befriending my bedside lamp and my taxidermy bullfrog Anthony Hopkins, so this has been a welcome relief! I am indebted to the Society for all their support over the years. They are a remarkable group of kind and caring people and SSSSPOTY has provided many people, myself included, with a wonderful spring-board into the industry. I dearly hope people will enjoy this concert. I’ve spent the best part of three weeks searching my wardrobe for many fabulous jackets. So please raise your Vodka Stinger and enjoy!”
The Stephen Sondheim Society (SSS) is a charitable trust founded upon the work of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim to provide education, support and encouragement to up-and-coming young performers and the theatre community. Their primary focus is the annual SSSSPOTY competition; however, this year, owing to Covid-19, they have increased their support of members with weekly newsletters and virtual coffee mornings, as well as developing a range of Sondheim-related events and educational support for young performers, to pay back into the theatre community.
Oscar Conlon-Morrey is an award-winning Actor, Singer, Compère, Comedian and Cabaret Artist. His performance credits include: Only Fools and Horses the Musical (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Nativity the Musical (Hammersmith Apollo and UK Tour), The Toxic Avenger The Musical (The Arts Theatre, Leicester Square). Oscar was the winner of a special prize for Comedy from Julia McKenzie at The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year 2017. At Mountview, he was awarded the Valedictorian Award for achieving the highest degree in his graduating year, as well as the Donald Wolfit Prize for Excellence in Theatre. Splitting his time between London and France, he is currently writing his bilingual cabaret, which he hopes to tour in 2022.
Jason Carr studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After winning the 1988 Vivian Ellis Prize, Jason was invited by Sir Peter Hall to compose the musical Born Again (Chichester Festival Theatre). As Associate Composer at Chichester, Jason wrote music and lyrics for The Water Babies, Six Pictures of Lee Miller (nominated for the British Composer Awards), and A Christmas Carol (also West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep.) Orchestration credits include the Menier Chocolate Factory’s Sunday in the Park with George, La Cage aux Folles and A Little Night Music (all
also Broadway, winning the Drama Desk Award and two Tony nominations for Best Orchestrations). Recent productions include Fiddler On The Roof (Playhouse, Olivier nomination 2020), Funny Girl (Paris), Mame (Hope Mill), West Side Story (Royal Exchange) and White Christmas (Dominion). Jason accompanies many artists including Dame Felicity Lott, Anne Reid and Maria Friedman.