Musical theatre is a wonderful thing, full of variety. Whether you go to be entertained or to be moved, it provides theatre-goers with a memorable experience time and again – it really is the gift that keeps on giving. People, not just from the UK but all around the world, come to the West End to indulge in their passion and support this industry; sometimes we need to celebrate it as well.
This July, Speckulation Entertainment are presenting a brand spanking new gala concert at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Saturday 14th July 2012 for just this reason. Momentous Musicals will be a tribute to the world of musical theatre, in a night of ‘soaring ballads and fondly remembered songs from the most significant musicals of our generation’. Two of the West End’s brightest stars, Gareth Gates and Rachael Wooding, will be performing some of the best-loved songs from classic musicals such as Wicked, West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon, enriched by the addition of an outstanding dance ensemble and live onstage band.
Gareth Gates first shot to fame as the runner-up on TV singing competition Pop Idol ten years ago and has great success as a recording artist, selling over 3 million records in the UK alone and playing to sold-out arenas on tour. In a move that has worked out very well for the theatre industry, Gates then turned his hand to the challenge of the West End stage, making his musical theatre debut in Speckulation’s gala concert A Spoonful of Stiles and Drewe. He has since had leading roles in several shows, playing the title role in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and starring as Marius in both the touring and London production of Les Miserables. Most recently, he was seen in the charity performance of the Stephen Schwartz musical Children of Eden at the Prince of Wales Theatre as Cain and was set to appear as Claude in the UK tour of Hair, although it has subsequently been cancelled.
Rachael Wooding is a seasoned West End stage actress. A graduate of the Bird College of Performing Arts, she has performed in Hairspray (Amber), We Will Rock You (Meatloaf), Fame (Serena) and was a recent cast member of long-running musical Jersey Boys where she played the role of Mary Delgado. Wooding has also played leading roles in several touring productions, such as Loveshack (AJ), Footloose (Ariel) and the title role in Evita, as well as having been involved in Speckulation’s Christmas in New York concert and Michael Ball’s Summer Concert. She features on the cast recording for Coronation Street: The Musical too.
Momentous Musicals is being produced by Neil Eckersley of Speckulation Entertainment. Previous event credits include a range of live acoustic sessions with great West End talents like Lauren Samuels, Julie Atherton, Helena Blackman and up-and-coming musical theatre composer Michael Bruce. Their last production was the highly successful concert with award-winning Broadway star Idina Menzel at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2011. John Garfield-Roberts, who is the resident director for Spike Theatre’s UK tour of The Games and soon to appear in The Great Gatsby at Wilton’s Music Hall, will direct the gala concert, with choreography by the renowned Racky Plews (Respect La Diva, Bernada Alba).
With such an illustrious list of names attached, Momentous Musicals is shaping up to be a glittering night of musical theatre celebration that is not to be missed.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Wednesday 21st March 2012
Momentous Musicals takes place at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Saturday 14th July 2012, 7.30pm.