Mental health at the Fringe

22nd August 2017

News, Student news, Alumni news

STOP, a musical theatre production composed by Wadham student Leo Munby (Chinese, 2013), has taken Edinburgh Fringe Festival by storm.

Shortlisted by Musical Theatre Review in the top ten for Best Musical Award at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017, the Oxford University Drama Society production focuses on four individuals suffering from different mental health issues, who find themselves together at a bus stop.

Without knowing it, each of them has reached a critical point in their mental illness such that decisions they make at the bus stop may lead to either their suicide, or their recovery. As you meet the four Londoners, you understand their musical personalities, their humour, and what they learn from the transient relationships they develop with each other at the mysterious bus stop.

The contemporary importance of STOP is embedded in the development of character that is drawn out by Annabel Mutale-Reed’s (Harris Manchester) plot and lyrics, and Leo Munby’s music, developed in collaboration with acclaimed musical theatre composer Claude-Michel Schönberg.

Leo Munby has just completed his undergraduate degree in Oriental Studies (Chinese) at Wadham. During that time, in addition to holding a full choral scholarship, he worked as a musical director, répétituer, and vocal consultant on more than 20 theatrical productions, including six shows at the Oxford Playhouse, new writing directed by Iqbal Khan, and the Chinese language premiere of Songs for a New World in Beijing. While on his year abroad in China, Leo was engaged by the Beijing Central Conservatory of Music to teach acting through song and musical theatre vocal technique. In the UK, Leo is musical director for the London-based professional vocal consultancy Vocal Balance, as well as working regularly with QDOS theatres as a répétiteur and pit pianist. He looks forward to taking up his place at the Royal Academy of Music to study Music Direction this Autumn.

As part of the Oxford University Drama Society Tour, STOP premiered at Pegasus Theatre, Oxford  in July, followed by a two week tour at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The tour continues at The Cockpit London from 30 August to 2 September.

  • Composer Leo Munby (Wadham) with writer and performer Annabel Mutale-Reed (Harris Manchester)