Fenton Gray new musicals
New Musicals  
For the last ten years, Fenton has worked closely with London composer Charles Miller and New York lyricist Kevin Hammonds in developing a number of new musicals. The most recent, When Midnight Strikes premiered in September 2007 and was named Critic’s Choice in Time Out and The Sunday Express. Roger Foss on LBC said “We need to cherish composers and writers like Charles Miller and Kevin Hammonds, who dare to strike up a new note in musical theatre when everyone else in show biz seems to be in the thrall of juke box compilations, revivals or high-tech blockbusters. Fenton Gray's slick direction, Norma Atallah's smart musical staging and a large West End quality ensemble cast all combine to turn this small but perfectly formed tale of flawed human beings given a second chance to mend their ways into a highly enjoyable and completely memorable night out.” The cast album was released in 2008, along with a Vocal Selections book, and negotiations are currently underway for a West End production.
 
When Midnight Strikes
Music by Charles Miller
Book & Lyrics by Kevin Hammonds
Directed by Fenton Gray
Original Cast Recoding and Vocal Selections available from www.makingrecords.co.uk and www.dresscircle.co.uk

CHELSEA THEATRE, LONDON (May 2007) & FINBOROUGH THEATRE, LONDON (Sept 2007)

New York, New Year’s Eve 1999 – the dawn of a new millennium - and Jennifer West’s intimate dinner party for close friends and family begins to fall apart upon the discovery that her husband has been having an affair. As the hosts confront their unraveling marriage, new resolutions, past mistakes, and an uncertain future merge into an explosive and lifealtering evening. When Midnight Strikes gives a remarkably accurate sense of the brittle gaiety of a New Year party, with all the tensions so often seething beneath the surface.

“When Midnight Strikes is rancorously diverting. In Fenton Gray’s stylish production the dialogue is at its best when it’s at its bitchiest, and the songs likewise thrill most when the gloves come off.”
Robert Shore - Time Out (Critics Choice)

"In the parched environment of original indigenous new musicals in London, When Midnight Strikes offers a genuine wake-up call for the homegrown musical, proving that its still possible to be musically adventurous and offer audiences things that they are not, for once, already familiar with. Literate, witty songs that inform and illuminate character attached to a book that creates believable situations and conflict lead director Fenton Gray to create a fully-realised world in the intimate surroundings of the Finborough. But the work can and should expand to fill a larger stage."
Mark Shenton - Sunday Express (Critics Choice)

VIDEO CLIP: When Midnight Strikes promotional video
When Midnight Strikes album montage - audio (requires flash)
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Click images for full size versions

WEST END PRODUCTION CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT


www.whenmidnightstrikes.com

Brenda Bly: Teen Detective
Music by Charles Miller
Book & Lyrics by Kevin Hammonds
Directed by Fenton Gray
 

BRIDEWELL THEATRE, LONDON (Aug/Sept 2003)

London School Of Musical Theatre Promotional Video

It’s 1958 - a time of rock and roll, space discovery, and great hope for a bright future. But trouble is brewing at the Whitney Ellis Private School For Girls. Only days away from the opening night of the end of term musical, “Rocket Girl”, the leading lady is knocked unconscious with a sandbag. Once again it is up to our favourite teenage sleuth, Brenda Bly, to solve the crime, catch the crook and save the day. Will Darcy regain her memory before opening night? Will “Rocket Girl: The Musical” go off without a hitch? And will Brenda finally get her man??
Packed with show-stopping songs and hilarious fast-paced dialogue Brenda Bly: Teen Detective is guaranteed to chase away the blues.

“For sheer escapist fun, no evening in a London theatre can beat this fizzily entertaining and witty send-up…A giggle from the first melodic note to the very last…The show has terrific energy… With proper backing, this little show could lift off to a bigger future.”
Lyn Gardner - The Guardian

“Charles Miller and Kevin Hammonds’ enjoyable musical simultaneously sends up and delights…With a young cast that brims with enthusiasm and talent in Fenton Gray’s production.”
Fiona Mountford - Evening Standard

"A cornucopia of catchy tunes... it seemlessly blends a range of styles from feelgood shows such as Grease and Little Shop Of Horrors....Director Fenton Gray chases the last ounce of energy from the able cast in this ensemble piece...This show demands a national tour."
Peter Guile - Channel 4 Teletext

ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING due for release in 2009 from www.makingrecords.com
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE for worldwide performance.
Contact Samuel French Ltd At www.samuelfrench-london.co.uk

Mr Christmas
Music by Charles Miller
Book & Lyrics by Kevin Hammonds
Directed by Fenton Gray

What's a Christmas without Santa Claus? Surely it’s impossible to contemplate the festive season without him?

But what happens when he disappears and the Elves are left leaderless? What happens when he’s found unconscious in New York and assumed to be one of the legion of homeless that roam the mean streets at Yuletide? And what happens when Santa himself FORGETS who he is!?

MR. CHRISTMAS tells an exciting and heart-warming story that puts a whole new spin on the classic themes so beloved of audiences from Miracle on 34th Street to The Grinch.


Other musicals currently in development
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Music by Charles Miller
Book & Lyrics by Kevin Hammonds
Directed by Fenton Gray

It’s 1978 - a time that taste forgot! Throw on your wide lapels, ruffled shirts and bellbottom polyester slacks and join us at the ultimate Wedding From Hell.

A sexually confused groom, a wedding crasher, a hired assassin and lesbian in-laws all contribute to the chaos as Haydon and Martine prepare to walk down the aisle.

Jason & The Argonauts
Music by Charles Miller
Book & Lyrics by Tim Sanders & Paul Carpenter
Directed by Fenton Gray

This irreverent treatment of the classic Greek myth follows Jason the jumped-up avenger, as he sets out on the seemingly impossible task of retrieving the Golden Fleece to regain his rightful crown from the cruel King Pelias. Allied to Jason on his quest for the elevated rug is a band of lovable misfits called "The Argonauts", the strange and beautiful Medea and Hera, Queen of the Godesses. Wait a minute - two women, one man ... that could be a problem.

Hope
Music by Charles Miller
Book & Lyrics by Kevin Hammonds
Directed by Fenton Gray

On a remote island torn apart by war, three newcomers arrive by boat with promise of a bridge connecting the island of Hope to modern civilization. As the newcomers campaign the islanders to embrace change and move on, they find themselves falling in love with the island and the women who inhabit it

 
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