The same day as the Sheffield Crucible 40th birthday party, I went to the Union Theatre to see a revival of the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which I reviewed for The Stage. And then after the show, the Union’s small bar space played host to the cast and producers.
Speckulation Entertainment seem to be on a real roll at the moment. As well as Helena Blackman’s wonderful collection of Rodgers and Hammerstein classics, in a couple of weeks’ time they will release a CD of songs written by composer Michael Bruce.
Michael first came to my attention when he entered a competition they ran (under the banner of their Notes from New York brand) in conjunction with The Stage to find a new Christmas song in a musical theatre style. Michael’s song, Children, is a just beautiful, plaintive ballad that became one of my personal highlights of both the Christmas in New York shows and the subsequent cast recording. Since then, as well as orchestrating some of Speckulation’s other works (including some of Helena’s album, and the musical ads for Confused.com) he’s been working on various projects, the biggest and most recent of which is composing music for the forthcoming version of Much Ado About Nothing which is to star David Tennant and Catherine Tate.
Back in November 2009, a one-off show at the Apollo Theatre highlighting some of his work drew some of the cream of the West End’s young performing talent. I’m pleased to see that on the just-announced track list for the new CD, Unwritten Songs, many of them will be making an appearance on the CD.