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Lizzy Parker - Songs For A New World Interview

The cult favourite song cycle Songs for a New World is coming back to London for a limited run at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in February. Written and composed by Tony Award® winner Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade, Bridges of Madison County), the raw and magnificent show features musical theatre fan favourites including ‘I’m Not Afraid of Anything’, 'Stars and the Moon' and ‘King of the World’. Stunning vocals combined with beautifully written lyrics and a moving score create this visceral, raw production that takes audiences on a journey, teetering on the edge of one moment that can shape the rest of your life. Each sensational song captures a different moment, all strung together to creatively explore the human condition from vastly different New World perspectives.

Lizzy Parker.

The incredible cast includes Lizzy Parker (Heathers the Musical, Original UK & Ireland Tour; Elixir, The Other Palace); Eleanor Frances (Woven The Musical, Nine Muses Theatre Co.; Hamlet in Pieces, Dixon Studio); Luke Walsh (We Will Rock You, Anthem of the Seas; Rock of Ages, UK tour; and Christopher Cameron (Bat Out Of Hell, Dominion Theatre; Are You As Nervous As I Am?, Greenwich Theatre).

Ahead of the run at Upstairs at the Gatehouse we caught up with cast member Lizzy Parker to discuss the show.

What attracted you to wanting to be a part of Songs for a New World?
It’s right up my street! The emphasis is on storytelling, with gorgeous solos and ensemble pieces – what more could you want?!  

How much of a fan of the show/music were you prior to being cast in the show?
I’ve loved the score since I first heard it. Even just getting to sing the songs in my audition was a treat, so the fact that I get to sing this whole score for a month is a dream!

What do you think the appeal is to Jason Robert Brown’s writing?
I think that as cheesy as it sounds, it speaks to the soul! There is so much detail in his writing and it feels as though every note was written for a reason. The accompaniments are also epic and don’t just serve as an accompaniment but I think stand on their own feet musically. His music is challenging and doesn’t always go where you expect it to! And as an actor, his songs are a privilege to sing. 

Do you have a favourite song within the piece?
I have a few! “I’m Not Afraid of Anything” was one of the first songs I heard from the show when I was a teenager and I instantly felt like I could connect to it. I also LOVE “Stars and the Moon” & “King of the World”. 

What is the biggest challenge of performing in a song cycle?
I guess the biggest challenge would be that there is no plot or storyline throughout the show. Each song is a mini vignette almost that tells its own story so there is so much detail needed in the performance.

If there was a musical about you, what would you call it?
I would call it ‘Lizzy with a Y’ (heavily influenced by Liza with a Z, I must say). I’m always Lizzy with a Y, NEVER an IE. And as you can tell, I feel VERY passionately about this haha!

What keeps you inspired as a performer?
Seeing new theatre, watching films & TV and not necessarily always watching the “good” stuff! I love it when I watch things that I don’t like, even if something isn’t my cup of tea, sometimes that’s what you can learn the most from - figuring out what maybe didn’t work or what I’d want to change about it.

What do you hope an audience member takes away from seeing Songs for a New World?
I hope that audiences will come away feeling comforted and like they’re not alone. I think there is a song in there for everyone and themes that everyone can relate to!

Songs For A New World runs at Upstairs at the Gatehouse in London from Tuesday 3rd February until Sunday 3rd March 2024. There is a relaxed performance on Saturday 24th February at 2.30pm with a signed performance TBC at time of publishing. Tickets are available from

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