• When a group of eccentric amateur actors attempt to stage an absurd new musical version of Chekhov’s The Seagull, they each end up learning more than just their lines. As rehearsals go on, art starts to imitate life as they all learn valuable lessons in love and acceptance.

    A joyful and witty comedy told through heartfelt songs and uplifting music, this UK premiere of Birds of Paradise will charm and delight fans of contemporary musical theatre. An early work of Winnie Holzman (writer of the book of Wicked), it showcases the comedic talents of one of the genre’s most influential authors.

    Following the successes of their previous five-star shows at The Drayton Arms with The Baker’s Wife and Lucky Stiff, MKEC Productions continue their mission to bring high-quality stagings of lesser-known musicals to the London fringe and this production will be a must see for all musical theatre fans.

    MKEC Productions; set up in 2014 by Marc Kelly and Elizabeth Chadwick, aims to produce high quality and accessible London fringe theatre. Marc and Elizabeth met during their time at University where they both studied Musical Theatre. Marc and Elizabeth have performed in the UK and around the world and have now come together to form MKEC Productions. Birds of Paradise is the highly awaited follow-up to Here’s to the Ladies who Belt, which premiered in January.


    Photos by Sam Elwin
  • “…Birds of Paradise, is a fun evening with some enjoyable songs performed by a strong cast, and any theatre lover will be able to relate to the ultimate message.”
    LondonTheatre1 ★★★★
    (full review here)

    “…full marks to Marc Kelly and Elizabeth Chadwick for digging it out of the back catalogue of Shows That Never Made It, and bringing it out for another airing…The second act opener, lifted from Homer’s opus, ‘Penguins Must Sing’, is quite terrifically pleasing. So, too, for that matter, is the deliciously rich choral writing for the first act finale, ‘Imagining You’, which will linger with you for a long time after hearing it.”
    British Theatre ★★★★
    (full review here)

    “this is most certainly a highly talented cast who can all sing … and they sing exceptionally well. There are ample opportunities for almost every one of them to shine individually, and none of them flunk the chances presented. Where they really excel, though, is when they are all singing together, with the combined voices producing powerful and evocative emotional hits.”
    Act Drop ★★★★
    (full review here)

    “…Birds of Paradise is a delightfully entertaining musical with bags of character, it’s wonderfully sentimental in the best way and highly recommended!”
    Pubtheatres1 ★★★★
    (full review here)

    “…a fun, dynamic musical…An enthusiastic cast nail both the comedy and the beautiful harmonies…
    The Stage ★★★
    (full review here)

    “…A real plus here are the impressive harmonies, and, not least, a standout number, ‘Imagining You’…
    Musical Theatre Review ★★★
    (full review here)

    “Musical director Oli Rew reconfigures the score intelligently for this intimate space and director Marc Kelly has cast his company well, selling both solo and group numbers with real conviction. ‘Imagining You’ and ‘Something New’ close the first and second acts respectively with real panache and it is these moments that make you realise why anyone would consider reviving the show.”
    Ought To Be Clowns
    (full review here)