The evening, to be entitled Michael Bruce: A Little Less Ordinary, is described in press materials as "an exceptionally rare event," providing "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 U.K.'s hottest young musical theatre stars."
Produced by Neil Eckersley and Paul Spicer for Speckulation Entertainment in association with Notes from New York. Bruce won the "Notes for the Stage" competition in 2007, which was co-promoted by Notes from New York and The Stage newspaper. Since winning the competition, he has been nurtured by the young producers behind it. According to press materials, "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."
Bruce first took to the stage in the Scottish National Ballet's production of Nutcracker, following which he became Highland Dancing Scottish Champion. After his career in dance, 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 at the Gielgud Theatre, which she originated when the show first opened at the Noel Coward Theatre, alongside her co-star Daniel Boys as Princeton. Boys was a finalist in the "Any Dream will Do" TV search for an actor to play the title role of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Helena Blackman, runner-up in the "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" TV search for an actress to play Maria in The Sound of Music, was seen recently in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night that began at Jermyn Street Theatre before transferring to the Arts Theatre, and followed her lead role in the U.K. 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 currently playing Boq in the London production of 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.
To book tickets for Michael Bruce: A Little Less Ordinary, contact the box office on 0844 412 4658, or visit www.notesfromnewyork.com.