Home Grown Talent Puts Oxford on the Map!

The last three months have been a whirlwind of phenomenal success and recognition for the Musical Youth Company of Oxford (MYCO). Starting with highly successful sell-out performances of 42nd Street at the Playhouse Theatre, Oxford at the end of March, this enthusiastic group of gifted young performers has now gained recognition at national level.

The National Operatic & Dramatic Association (NODA) acknowledges talent and theatrical brilliance in their annual awards ceremony which, this year, took place in London on 26th June. Against stiff competition, MYCO walked away with the prestigious NODA Flame Award for Inspirational Contribution to the Pursuit of Excellence in Theatre. In the citation, their spectacular interpretation of one of the greatest tap dance musicals of all time was heavily praised; “This performance of 42nd Street was absolutely outstanding. ….There was not one weak link in the ensemble and principal line up, and the performances were akin to performances and production values that might well be found in any professional or even West End production. This talented and ever evolving group really deserve the recognition for their incredible and marvellous production“

Director of 42nd Street, Guy Brigg was “delighted to learn that MYCO had been given the Flame Award this year. It’s acknowledgement of the Company’s dedication, talent and the huge amount of hard work that went into this production in particular, but that also goes into every MYCO show, helping us maintain ever-increasing standards which have wowed audiences in and around Oxford for many years.’

Over 50 members of MYCO, aged between 12 and 19 appeared in 42nd Street and every one of them gave outstanding song and dance performances that would grace any West End stage, but leading lady, Anna Morgan, who played feisty Dorothy Brock was truly exceptional. Anna is a young star in the making and to the delight of everybody in the company, she was nominated by NODA for theBest Female Character in a Musical.

Musical Director of 42nd Street, Julie Todd explained why this is so significant. “This is the first time a member of MYCO has been nominated for this award, which is open to all the adult companies in the London area and is a tremendous honour for her, and although she didn’t win, we are incredibly proud of her achievement in getting nominated!

Anna was very modest about the nomination. “I had to work hard to play a part as self-assured as Dorothy, so being recognised for that work is really wonderful, and something I never expected! I was shocked and surprised to be nominated, and honoured that the work of my cast mates and I had been recognised. It was a pleasure to perform in 42nd Street and it leaves me with a wonderful parting memory of my last show in MYCO!”

Anna, who was only 18 at the time of her 42nd Street performance, will attend Arts Educational Schools London from September, on a one-year musical theatre foundation course. From there she hopes to move onto a three year course and then into the industry as a performer.

As if that’s not enough, Libby Holcroft who designs all of MYCO’s marketing material received the overall prize for best programme in the souvenir class, for her cover of the MYCO 2015 Les Miserables programme.

To celebrate all of these accolades, the “MYCOs”, the company’s own version of the Olivier Awards, was held in Islip on Saturday 18th June. Alongside Anna and Harry Pudwell, joint winners of the Director’s Award, Livi Ridley, Jake Halsey-Jones, Anya de Villiers and Johnny Allison were amongst the 15 members who received awards for their contributions to the success of 42nd Street and their contribution to MYCO.

With such talent in abundance, backed up by an extremely dedicated management team and parent volunteers, MYCO is truly a phenomenon. Pushing their own boundaries, exceeding their own high expectations and never accepting second best they certainly have the recipe for success. Success which, at this rate, will keep on coming!