Benjamin Turner | Composer & Lyricist
A recent graduate from the University of York with First Class Honours in Music and taking up a scholarship at Berklee College of Music in September, Benjamin is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer in a wide range of genres. He leads award-winning Jazz collective “Donkey Zoo” – recurrent performers at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival – in addition to the “Busker Street” ensemble, who performed for VIPs at the London 2012 Olympic Opening/Closing Ceremonies. When it comes to musical theatre, he took an interest at an early age. In addition to performing (most recently at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015), Benjamin has written a number of musicals including Good Grief (a short musical improvisatory character-study for a cast of 8) and directed CHMS York’s recent production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Upstage Theatre, York. Benjamin recently had his String Quartet No.1 workshopped by the internationally acclaimed Quator Diotima ensemble and is manager for various commercial entertainment events including the popular ‘Livestock’ live music club night at which “Donkey Zoo” are regular performers.
Benjamin will be showcasing a medley of songs from three separate musicals detailed below:
What happens if humans end up colonising Mars? This is a hotly debated topic today and this musical explores some of the possibilities. Featuring a liberator turned dictator, a farmer with his three daughters who dream of life on Earth and a gory sadistic surgeon, ‘MARS’ tells the sweeping tale of a society on the brink of revolution, filled with dance, comedy and drama. With each act overlapping narratives from opposing perspectives, the musical considers the science and politics of a colonised Mars.
THE OLD MAN IN THE CINEMA
Who is the old man in the cinema? This mystery confuses the local residents until one day he is approached by a little girl, living with her father who spends most of his time away at work. With an empty home fuelling a wild imagination, the old man tells her that he is a wizard who fell out of a film – a story she is all too happy to believe. But with a mean Aunt Plasticine terrorising her at home and dad coming back from a work trip to find his daughter looking to a stranger in his place, she starts to question whether the old man really is the wizard he claims to be. Both a fun, fantastical adventure and exploring a strained relationship between a father and his young daughter. What does it take for a child to lose their make believe?
ANDROID (working title)
What if Pinocchio were made today? What if Pinnochio was a robot? This timely modernisation/reimagining of PINNOCHIO explores what could happen if a robot really did feel and look like a human. Currently under redevelopment, the songs being showcased for ANDROID are from an early draft with more than a hint of fairytale.