On the evening of the Stiles & Drewe Best New Song Prize, I was booked on a flight to Lithuania, where I was doing a show. As the afternoon competition neared its end, I hung near the back of the Garrick Theatre, aware I’d have to dash off promptly to make check in. I didn’t expect to be going up on stage! But to my surprise and delight, I won. And I did… and then I legged it to Luton!

Two of my songs were in the competition – Library Boy and The Procrastination Song.* You can watch the Procrastination Song here.

*(If only I’d known how true to my future creative life this song would prove to be. Before sitting down to write this blog, I cleaned the kitchen, went on a cycle ride and ordered some photos I’d been meaning to get printed since 2022).

I won the S&D Prize as a songwriter rather than for a particular song. I was twenty-four and proud to have been recognised for my potential as well as my writing. I’ll never forget it and was truly flattered, especially as the competition was fierce.

In the ten years since, have I lived up to that potential?! It depends on when you ask me! And just how much I’ve procrastinated that day!

I’m proud of the career I’ve had, kick-started by my involvement in the competition and with wonderful organisations like MMD. My musical The List was showcased as a part of BEAM, and that and the competition put me on the map in the London new musical theatre scene. I was involved in many wonderful projects thereafter – from being asked to write the book for Club Mex: The Musical produced by Global Musicals (music & lyrics by John-Victor), to writing a new musical through Perfect Pitch for students at Mountview, to delightful miscellaneous gigs like performing my original songs at a speed dating cabaret!

I’ve channelled my songwriting ability and comedic edge into a solo career: I’ve toured my musical comedy shows all over the world – to Europe, America, Australia and (regularly) the Edinburgh Fringe. I’ve had songs on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show, performed in everything from pub theatres to 1000-seater auditoriums, and I often return to my favourite venues – one of which is Crazy Coqs in Piccadilly Circus, with its grand piano and unbeatable reputation for cabaret. I’m performing my new show Plus One there on Tuesday 25th June at 9.15pm – come along and say hi! There’s a special discount for MMD members 🙂 .

However, in the ten years since I won the award, I have yet to have a musical produced for which I wrote the music. This could indeed be due to my prophetic Procrastination Song, in that I’ve not yet technically finished one(!) but it’s also because, as we all know… these things take time. Still – keep an eye out. I have a musical I am currently writing that I’m very excited about! More on that soon…

If you are thinking of entering the S&D Best New Song Prize or BEAM – do it! You won’t regret it. And you never know – you might win…

So don’t book a flight to Lithuania on the same night!

Tamar’s new cabaret Plus One is at Crazy Coqs, Piccadilly Circus, London on Tuesday 25th June at 9.15pm
MMD members enjoy 20% discount on tickets with code: TAM24

Click here for more info and tickets.