BRIGHT HOPE FOR THE BRITISH BORN MUSICAL SHOWCASED ON SHAFTESBURY AVENUE
West End stars Julie Atherton, Helena Blackman, Daniel Boys, Clare Foster, Alex Jessop, Sarah Lark and Paul Spicer will dispense with the old and bastion the new when they showcase the work of 25 year old musical theatre composer Michael Bruce in an unprecedented gala concert, Michael Bruce: A Little Less Ordinary, for one night only at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue on Sunday 1 November 2009.
Michael Bruce: A Little Less Ordinary is an exceptionally rare event. A fully-fledged West End concert profiling the contemporary musical theatre writing of a young British composer. An opportunity for a truly talented songwriter to make his mark on the West End stage and have his songs performed for the first time by a selection of the UK’s hottest young musical theatre stars.
Winner of the groundbreaking Notes for the Stage competition in 2007, which was co-promoted by West End show series Notes from New York and entertainment industry bible The Stage, Michael Bruce offers a burgeoning ray of hope for the future of the British musical. Since winning the competition, this gifted young songwriter has been nurtured by the young producers behind it. He will now prove the pessimists wrong, by confirming that the best new writers can flourish beyond the confines of the fringe, as long as they are afforded the artistic and commercial vision to do so.
Michael Bruce first took to the stage in the Scottish National Ballet’s Nutcracker, following which he became Highland Dancing Scottish Champion. Done with dancing, he took up table tennis in his teens, playing in the Scottish national table tennis team throughout Europe. Academically gifted, his careers advisor suggested he should study law, but the songwriter in him started to emerge. A year out working in Sainsbury’s allowed him time to hone his craft, following which he auditioned for LIPA, where he studied voice as a singer / songwriter. He then graduated as a musical director and songwriter, working on a variety of shows in London, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Lincoln, as well as assisting on several national tours, cruise ships and pantomimes. He then entered and won the Notes for the Stage competition run by Notes from New York and The Stage, following which his work has been performed in Christmas in New York at the Lyric Theatre and at the Trafalgar Studios. His show Ed receives its professional première at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Julie Atherton is currently reprising her acclaimed roles of Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut in Avenue Q alongside her co-star Daniel Boys as Princeton. Helena Blackman recently received extensive acclaim in the West End revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night following her lead role in the UK tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Clare Foster is currently appearing in ITV drama The Bill after being in the original cast of Avenue Q. Alex Jessop is playing the role of Boq in the hit musical Wicked. Sarah Lark is appearing in Oliver at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Paul Spicer most recently played the role of Jamie in The Last 5 Years at the Duchess Theatre, following his debut at the Gothenburg Opera in Sweden, playing Tobias in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.
Michael Bruce: A Little Less Ordinary is produced by Neil Eckersley and Paul Spicer for Speckulation Entertainment in association with Notes from New York.
For further information about Michael Bruce, visit www.michael-bruce.co.uk