Robert J. Sherman to Take Part in Special Masterclass with Michael Xavier

Robert J. Sherman to Take Part in Special Masterclass with Michael Xavier

Musical Theatre Masterclass (MTM) has announced Robert J. Sherman as their first speaker at a special VIP Masterclass on Sunday, 2 October 2016.

Robert J. Sherman is the composer and lyricist behind the recent critically-acclaimed Love Birds (Edinburgh Festival) and A Spoonful of Sherman (St. James Theatre) and son of Robert B. Sherman, songwriter of musicals including Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book.

MTM is the brainchild of double Olivier-Award nominee Michael Xavier, renowned for numerous leading West End roles including starring opposite Glenn Close in the recent Sunset Boulevard (ENO).

Students at Musical Theatre Masterclass, a new musical theatre training academy in London are getting the chance to have a special VIP Masterclass with composer and lyricist Robert J. Sherman, on Sunday 2 October 2016. The Masterclass is part of a series of three one-hour sessions each Sunday with other Masterclasses in singing, dancing and acting - all taking place at The Umbrella Rooms in London's West End.

MTM has resident acting, singing and dancing coaches, but also invites current star performers to come in and give Masterclasses, and each term culminates in a showcase attended by invited agents, casting directors and other luminaries of the industry. There are also performance opportunities with students getting a chance to perform in Trafalgar Square at West End Live in the summer and in a Christmas charity concert each year.

MTM is designed for aspiring Musical Theatre performers from age 12 to 25 years and aims to get them ready for a career on the stage, or to be successful in gaining a place at one of the highly competitive Musical Theatre further education colleges. It is aimed at young performers who have lots of raw talent and a huge amount of potential in singing, dancing or acting.

Students are hand-picked from an audition process, and those already training at MTM include some young performers who already have a list of impressive credits to their name, and are even currently appearing in the West End and filming blockbuster films. However, they do not have to have had professional experience.

Director Michael Xavier says: "We are looking to develop that raw talent and so we give places purely based on an audition process when we determine the level of ability and potential. It's fantastic that we have attracted young people who are already working in the industry, and it's great to help to develop their talent further, but it is also hugely rewarding to be part of a team that nurtures fledging talent that has not yet been recognised. We also want to give students with no professional experience the skills and confidence to get onto that first rung on the ladder. A significant part of what we offer is inspiration - and our star guests provide that in spades."

Robert J. Sherman says: "Michael's masterclasses are a great opportunity for young people - My aim for this session is to give the performers an idea of what the audition is like from the other side. What are the writers, directors and music directors thinking? And more importantly, what can the performer do to maximize his chances at making the right impression in those critical moments. I am really honoured and thrilled to be a part of the first session."

The next audition day is Saturday 1st October. Participants can sign up by visiting www.mtmasterclass.com.

MTM is run by actor and double Olivier-award nominee Michael Xavier. He has starred in many musicals and plays, and recently played Joe Gillis, opposite the Hollywood star Glenn Close in the ENO's production of Sunset Boulevard, to critical acclaim. He has been nominated twice for an Olivier Award, and hosted the Olivier Awards Piazza Stage and UK Theatre Awards events three years in a row. This summer he starred in Some Enchanted Evening at the Cadogan Hall alongside Ruthie Henshall, Lesley Garrett and Gary Wilmot, in a musical celebration of the hits of Broadway Legend Richard Rodgers. On 4 September 2016, Michael was named a Celebrity Ambassador to Variety, the Children's Charity at a ceremony at the Adelphi Theatre following the gala performance of Bumblescratch, along with Robert J. Sherman, Darren Day, Jessica Martin and Bumblescratch director/choreographer, Stewart Nicholls.

MTM's resident teachers are made up of the Head of Singing Natalie Andreou (Wicked, Rock of Ages, Mamma Mia), Heads of Dance Kelly Ewins (Singing In The Rain, Mamma Mia!, We Will Rock You) and Dena Lague (Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella) and the Head of Acting Vivienne Storry (an acting lecturer and speech and drama specialist who has also worked as a casting director in TV, theatre and film).

Talented students already training at MTM include: Asha Banks, 12, who is currently appearing as Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane; Luka Green, 13, currently appearing with Michael Crawford in The Go-between, Isabella Pappas, 14, Olivier-nominated for her role in The Nether; Sebastian Croft, 14, who was most recently seen as Adrian Mole at Leicester Curve and is now in Game of Thrones, and Emily Carey, who was in The Sound of Music at Regents Park Open Air Theatre and is now a regular on Casualty and currently filming the role of young Wonder Woman in the USA feature film Wonder Woman.

Robert J. Sherman stems from a long, illustrious line of songwriters spanning more than four generations. At 16 Sherman joined BMI and is an alum of BMI's Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Theatre: Bumblescratch (Adelphi Theatre), Love Birds (Pleasance, Edinburgh), A Spoonful of Sherman (St. James Theatre) and A Christmas Held Captive (Beverly Hills Playhouse). Other credits include: The Adventures of Amazon Jack (Columbia TriStar) and The Magic 7 (Pulse Entertainment). Books: Moose: Chapters From My Life (as Editor). Notable Song: "Disneyana!" (The Official Theme Song of the Disneyana Fan Club), "Mondays" (from Ms: A Song Cycle). Sherman is the CEO/President of Music World LLC and MusicWorld UK and is the trustee of the Robert B. Sherman Family Estate and Archives which includes one half of The Sherman Brothers and Al Sherman estates. On 4 September 2016, Robert was named a Celebrity Ambassador to Variety, the Children's Charity at a ceremony at the Adelphi Theatre following the gala performance of Bumblescratch, along with Michael Xavier, Darren Day, Jessica Martin and Bumblescratch director/choreographer, Stewart Nicholls. Sherman resides in London. Website: robbiesherman.com | Twitter: @robbiesherman.

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