BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER: THE MUSICAL to run at the Turbine Theatre in 2022

After being discovered at MTFestUK 2019, But I’m A Cheerleader: The Musical will become the first fully commissioned musical to be presented on stage!

Paul Taylor-Mills & Bill Kenwright, in association with Adam Bialow, are presenting their new musical, based on the LIONSGATE® motion picture of the same name, directed by  Jamie Babbit and with a screenplay by Brian Wayne Peterson.

But I’m A Cheerleader: The Musical features book and lyrics by Bill Augustin, music by Andrew Abrams, direction by Tania Azevedo, choreography by Alexzandra Sarmiento, and lighting by Martha Godfrey. It is set to run at The Turbine Theatre from 18 February – 16 April, with a press night on 23 February 2022. The musical follows MTFestUK 2022, which runs at the Turbine until 12 February 2022

But I’m A Cheerleader: The Musical tells the story of Megan, an all-American high school cheerleader who has the perfect life.

That is until she finds out her friends and family suspect her of being a lesbian and send her packing to ‘True Directions,’ a rehabilitation camp to set her straight. It is at this camp, under the strict tutelage of headmistress Mary Brown that Megan meets Graham, a sexy tomboy who shows her exactly what her ‘true direction’ is. Hilarious, irreverent, and full of heart, But I’m A Cheerleader: The Musical is a quirky coming-of-age comedy about sexual awakening and self-realization.

Paul Taylor-Mills, who is the Artistic Director at the Turbine Theatre, said, “The premiere of But, I’m a Cheerleader at The Turbine Theatre is special for many reasons. Firstly, it is the first fully produced musical that I will stage that started life at our first MTFestUK 3 years ago. This is our annual festival that shines the spotlight on the development and creation of musicals. Secondly, it will also be the first brand-new musical to premiere at The Turbine which was always our driving ambition at the theatre. 

The musical explores themes around conversion therapy and coming out and the complications some teenagers face trying to be their authentic selves. Conversion therapy is still legal in the UK and most of America and is very much still in play. This important work feels absolutely in line with the type of stories that we want to tell at The Turbine and I couldn’t be prouder that we are able to present this as our first musical of 2022. I’m delighted to welcome Tania Azevedo and Alexzandra Sarmiento to the project to bring this important story to life.”

Tania Azevedo, Director, added, “I am thrilled to be working on the musical adaptation of this LGBTQ+ Cult Classic. I think it’s crucial for our community to see ourselves in pieces of theatre that are comedic, that celebrate Queer joy, and “But I’m a Cheerleader” is exactly that.” 

Adam Bialow, Producer, said, “We’re honoured that But I’m a Cheerleader: The Musical is the first fully commissioned musical to come out of MTFEST and are extremely thrilled to collaborate with Paul Taylor-Mills as the musical takes its next steps. In light of the subject matter – conversion therapy- being debated in both the United Kingdom and United States, I believe that this story is more necessary and sadly more relevant than ever.  The writers have further developed the characters from the original motion picture, making them more accessible to a wider audience without detracting from their true essence in a way that is both entertaining and transformative in the process.”

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