Treat your ears to an Acoustic delight with Speckulation Artists Julie Atherton, Helena Blackman and Michael Bruce

Speckulation Entertainment will produce a brand new series of acoustic sessions with three of its roster of recording artists at the recently refurbished Pheasantry on the Kings Road in Chelsea during June. West End star and Avenue Q favourite Julie Atherton will kickstart proceedings on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June, followed by How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? finalist Helena Blackman on Sunday 12th June, and award-winning composer Michael Bruce on Sunday 19th June.

JULIE ATHERTON (Sat 4th & Sun 5th June)
West End star Julie Atherton creates a completely unplugged re-working of her acclaimed album No Space for Air to celebrate the first anniversary of its release. Best known for creating the roles of Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut in Avenue Q, and her role as Cathy in Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years, Julie is also the star of the international YouTube sensation, ‘Portrait of a Princess’.

“Musical theatre is in safe hands when promoted as brilliantly as this.” – Mark Shenton

HELENA BLACKMAN (Sun 12th June)
Best known as runner-up in the BBC’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, Helena Blackman returns to the Pheasantry, following her sold out dates last year, to perform her debut album The Sound of Rodgers & Hammerstein in a stripped-back acoustic evening celebrating her association with this legendary musical theatre writing duo, including one or two surprises.

“She gives a sparklingly assured performance.” – The Guardian

MICHAEL BRUCE(Sun 19th June)
Award-winning musical theatre composer Michael Bruce brings his No.1 debut album Unwritten Songs to the Pheasantry in an acoustic re-imagining of this celebrated collection of songs. Michael will be joined by a selection of the West End stars that appear on the album, along with some unexpected guests, with whom he will also showcase a number of previously unperformed songs.

“Faith in this exceptional talent was fully justified” – The Stage

Relaunched in 2010, The Pheasantry is a beguiling venue on the Kings Road in the heart of Chelsea, which is fast becoming established as the new London home of contemporary cabaret and intimate concert performances. Since its relaunch, The Pheasantry has played host to the highest echelon of cabaret performers, as well as stars from the West End, Broadway and beyond.

The Speckulation Acoustic Sessions are produced by Neil Eckersley & Paul Spicer for Speckulation Entertainment in association with Samuel Joseph.

For more information about each of the artists’ albums, visit the following sites:

Julie Atherton: No Space for Air – www.nospaceforair.com

Helena Blackman: The Sound of Rodgers & Hammerstein – www.thesoundofrandh.com

Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs – www.michaelbrucesongs.com

Portrait of a Princess Video with Atherton, Smith, Tovey, Webb, Lee & Spicer

Speckulation Entertainment launches a star-studded music video to accompany award-winning composer Michael Bruce’s song ‘Portrait of a Princess’ to coincide with the launch of his debut album, Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs. Starring West End comedic institution Julie Atherton, the video also features recent Olivier Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical Sheridan Smith, BBC’s Being Human star Russell Tovey, fellow ex History Boy Steven Webb, current Jersey Boy and S Club 7 favourite Jon Lee, and Avenue Q star Paul Spicer, in a series of camp, comedy cameos.

Michael’s song ‘Portrait of a Princess’ has garnered acclaim from all corners of the theatre industry since it premièred in 2009 in a concert of his work at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. The music video – which follows the ups and downs of a Princess, watching her fumble her way through life, love and everything in between – can be viewed online at www.portraitofaprincess.com and has already received thousands of hits since it was unveiled as part of a live concert celebrating the launch of the album on Sunday 20 March at the West End’s opulent and prestigious Delfont Room.

The song and the video pay homage to the traditional fairytale, but with a contemporary and decidedly adult twist. Billed as “a fantasmagorical work of fictional fabulosity,” the film is “a frivolous, fairytale frolic intended solely for harmless, humorous purposes to lighten up an occasionally dull existence. Any likeness to any person or character, living or dead, fictional or fantastical, is entirely unintentional. Its purpose is only that the viewer be moved to mirth by a rather wayward princess and her adventures in a non-existent land.” Or so says the disclaimer.

Speckulation Entertainment’s Executive Producer Neil Eckersley says of the video’s release: “We wanted to find a way of introducing Michael’s music to a wider audience. Having an audiovisual tool to do that with is invaluable and we’re delighted with the result. A stellar cast, a stunning song and BAFTA winning creative team combine to provide a first for contemporary musical theatre.”

Michael Bruce is currently composing the music for the Sonia Friedman produced David Tennant and Catherine Tate star vehicle Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre, having recently written the score for Josie Rourke’s acclaimed production of Men Should Weep at the National Theatre. He is Resident Composer at London’s Bush Theatre and orchestrator of the current Confused.com TV ad campaign featuring the well-known songs Somebody to Love and Chain Reaction.

Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs is available now at Amazon.co.uk, DressCircle.co.uk and iTunes.

TRACK LIST

The track listing for Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs is:
1. Don’t Wanna Leave You Now – Ross Hunter
2. Even Then – Paul Spicer
3. I Want a Man – Sarah Lark & Sarah Earnshaw
4. Someplace Beyond the Moon – Charlotte Wakefield
5. Money Honey – Mark Evans
6. Continental – Emily Tierney
7. Away – Alex Jessop
8. It’s Not Gonna Rain – Jessie Buckley
9. The Musical Theatre Song – Anna-Jane Casey
10. My Kind of World – Ashleigh Gray
11. Portrait of a Princess – Julie Atherton
12. Looking Back – Daniel Boys & Alexia Khadime
13. Unwritten Song – Michael Xavie

Michael Bruce’s Unwritten Songs – Track List & Casting

BRIT COMPOSER BRUCE LAUNCHES UNWRITTEN SONGS LIVE IN THE DELFONT ROOM AND SPECKULATION UNVEIL A STAR-STUDDED SURPRISE OF FANTASTIC FAIRYTALE FABULOSITY!

Michael Bruce is the most commercially promising new composer of the last four decades. His debut album Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs, on which he is joined by a plethora of talent that encapsulates the future of the West End, will be launched with a live concert on Sunday 20 March at the West End’s opulent and prestigious Delfont Room at the Prince of Wales Theatre. Songs from the album will be performed, and a very special treat revealed.

Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs will feature Anna-Jane Casey, Avenue Q’s Julie Atherton and Paul Spicer, Wicked stars Mark Evans, Alexia Khadime, Ashleigh Gray and Sarah Earnshaw, award-winning West End favourite Daniel Boys, newly crowned Glinda in The Wizard of Oz Emily Tierney, Mamma Mia’s Alex Jessop, We Will Rock You’s Ross Hunter, Spring Awakening’s Charlotte Wakefield, ‘I’d Do Anything’ stars Sarah Lark (Oliver) and Jessie Buckley (A Little Night Music), and double Olivier Award nominee Michael Xavier (Love Story). The album will be available for the first time at the Delfont Room at an exclusive pre-release price, ahead of its release on Monday 21 March. Michael will be joined at the launch by a selection of the artists featured on the recording.

In addition to the launch of the album, the evening will include a visual feast of fantastic fairytale fabulosity, specially commissioned by Speckulation Entertainment to coincide with the release. Featuring famous stars of stage and screen, this unprecedented offering will be full of surprises, shocks, twist and turns, creating a never-to-be-forgotten moment of musical theatre history.

Michael Bruce is currently composing the music for the Sonia Friedman produced David Tennant and Catherine Tate star vehicle Much Ado About Nothing at the Wyndham’s Theatre, having recently written the score for Josie Rourke’s acclaimed production of Men Should Weep at the National Theatre. He is Resident Composer at London’s Bush Theatre and orchestrator of the current Confused.com TV ad campaign featuring the well-known songs Somebody to Love and Chain Reaction.

Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs is produced by Neil Eckersley & Paul Spicer for Speckulation Entertainment, with musical direction and orchestrations by Michael Bruce.
Pre-order Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs now at Amazon.co.uk or DressCircle.co.uk

TRACK LIST:

The track listing for Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs is:
1. Don’t Wanna Leave You Now – Ross Hunter
2. Even Then – Paul Spicer
3. I Want a Man – Sarah Lark & Sarah Earnshaw
4. Someplace Beyond the Moon – Charlotte Wakefield
5. Money Honey – Mark Evans
6. Continental – Emily Tierney
7. Away – Alex Jessop
8. It’s Not Gonna Rain – Jessie Buckley
9. The Musical Theatre Song – Anna-Jane Casey
10. My Kind of World – Ashleigh Gray
11. Portrait of a Princess – Julie Atherton
12. Looking Back – Daniel Boys & Alexia Khadime
13. Unwritten Song – Michael Xavier

Buy tickets for Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs

MICHAEL BRUCE: A LITTLE LESS ORDINARY

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