Loserville is joining the new London musicals, in the West End! It will soon be coming to the Garrick Theatre, replacing Chicago which is set to close in September.
The writers are James Bourne and Elliot Davis. James Bourne (no, not Jason Bourne!), is best known as a member of the boy band Busted. In an ear of manufactured music, the group wrote all their own songs, an played their own instruments.
After their split, he formed Son of Dork. It is this band’s 2005 album, ‘Welcome to Loserville’ on which the Loserville musical is based. Like The Who’s Tommy, the musical turns a story-telling concept album into a stage show.
Lil Chris Hardman will reprise his role for the West End, but Gareth Gates, who played Eddie, will be replaced by Stewart Clarke for the transfer. Eastenders star, Aaron Sidwell will play the young lead, Michael Dork.
The writing scene has in recent years been described as stagnant by critics. Many current London musicals are revivals of older musicals, or just particularly long-running shows. But a small selection of work great new writers is nevertheless shining through.
Matilda, which won seven Olivier awards last year including Best New Musical, is the debut musical writing achievement for comedian Tim Minchin. It ran in Stratford at the RSC before making a successful West End transfer.
Last year’s musical London Road, which addresses the Ipswich murders of 2006-8, was also the debut for writing duo Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork. It had a successful run at the National Theatre, and has been reprised for another summer run this year.
It is refreshing when successful shows from new, up-and-coming sources make West End transfers. It is evidence that the new writing scene is still very much alive.