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Scottish stars of stage and screen tribute to NHS and key workers

Scottish stars of stage and screenScottish stars of stage and screen, including John Barrowman, Elaine C Smith and Alex Norton with nearly thirty West End performers, have together recorded a spirit-lifting rendition of Beautiful City from Stephen Schwartz’s musical Godspell, interspersed with tribute messages to the NHS and key workers working across the UK. The video is produced by Scots in the City, and shared on their YouTube channel.

The video was the idea of Kieran Brown, a West End performer and co-founder of Scots in the City. When the pandemic hit, there were many stunning tributes from theatrical groups, shows and individuals, all keen to pay tribute to the hard-working NHS, including the Irish theatre community and the Welsh of the West End. As a way for Scottish West End performers to voice their appreciation too, Kieran called up many of his former cast mates to unite in singing Beautiful City from Wicked composer Stephen Schwartz’s 70’s musical, Godspell. The song talks of the hope for a new fairer society, emerging from the ruins and rubble, that we strive to build together – lyrics and a sentiment which seem more prophetic and pertinent than they were when work began on the project a few weeks ago. They recorded the song, or in some cases a tribute message, from home whilst in isolation – which was from as far afield as Broadway for Book of Mormon’s Stephen Ashfield.

Alex Norton (Taggart/Two Doors Down) said: “As Joni Mitchell says in her song, Big Yellow Taxi, ‘Don’t it always seems to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.’ It’s more important than ever that we protect our NHS. Stand up for the greatest monument to civilisation and humanity the world has ever known.

Steven Cree (Outlander) said: “It was a privilege to be invited to take part in this tribute and thank you to the NHS. Their value and importance have never been more apparent in my lifetime than now, and I sincerely hope that people continue to show gratitude, support and respect to our fantastic health service. It must never be privatised.

Kieran Brown, from Scots in the City said: “Whilst the NHS charity is highlighted, we would like to dedicate the video to every one of our key workers who have kept the country going – from delivery drivers, shop workers and postal staff, to bin men, lorry drivers and teachers … the list is endless. We owe all of you a huge debt and this is a thank you to each and every one of you. Alongside our stars who have given their time and talent, I’d also like to thank James Doughty for creating the original track, Ben Dovey for his gorgeous orchestrations, Tom Crofton Green for violin skills, Chris Matanle for artwork, and Ben Hewis for stitching it all together and making it look and sound so moving.

The full list of Scots taking part is Stephen Ashfield, John Barrowman, Kieran Brown, Ronan Burns, Sabrina Carter, Elaine C. Smith, Steven Cree, Gillian Ford, Lyndsey Gardiner, James Gillan, Celia Graham, Alasdair Harvey, Jacqueline Hughes, Keith Jack, Adam Lake, Maggie Lynne, Mary Mac, Jai MacDowall, Lisa Mathieson, Matt McKenna, John Mclarnon, Gavin Mitchell, Alex Norton, George Rae, Emma Ralston, Jennifer Tierney, George Ure, Shona White, Natalie Williams, Lisa Anne Wood and Jordan Young.

Kieran Brown, who hails from Falkirk, set up Scots in the City with actress Shona White to promote the very best of Scottish culture outside the motherland, with a focus on Musical Theatre. Kieran studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, graduating with an honours degree in Acting. As a seasoned West End professional, he has understudied and played the role of The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and recently performed in the UK and World tours of Titanic. Kieran is an original member of one of the UK’s most successful vocal groups, The Barricade Boys. His many screen credits include a role in the forthcoming TV drama, Traces.

For Scots in the City
Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/ScotsInTheCity
Twitter: @ScotsInTheCity

For Participants
Kieran Brown (Falkirk): (co-creative @ScotsInTheCity); Twitter – @kierbro Phantom, Wicked, Titanic, Les Misérables, The Barricade Boys
Shona White (Fife): (co-creative @ScotsInTheCity) @SingingHaggis MAMMA MIA!, Wicked, Chess, Les Mis
Stephen Ashfield (Glasgow) -@StephenAshfield Jersey Boys, Taboo, Book Of Mormon, Olivier Award winner, currently Book of Mormon on Broadway
John Barrowman (Glasgow) – @JohnBarrowman JohnBarrowman.com
Ronan Burns (Edinburgh) – 42nd Street, West Side Story, Titanic
Elaine C. Smith (Glasgow) – Two Doors Down, Rab C Nesbitt
Sabrina Carter (Glasgow) – @SabrinaCarter29 Wicked, The 39 Steps, Pirate Queen, Oliver
Ruth Connell – @RuthieConnell Supernatural (US TV) https://www.ruthconnell.com/
Steven Cree (Kilmarnock) – @MrStevenCree – Outlander, Cobra, Deep State, Brave
Gillian Ford (Stirling)- @Gillian_Ford Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Mamma Mia
Lyndsey Gardiner (Glasgow) – @LyndseyGardiner Phantom Of The Opera, Beggars Opera
James Gillan (Glasgow) @JamesGillan8 Starlight Express, Wicked, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Celia Graham (Glasgow) – @CeliaMGraham Les Miserables, Phantom Of The Opera, Love Never Dies
Alasdair Harvey (Coupar) – @AlasdairHarvey Come From Away, Beauty & The Beast, We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia
Jacqueline Hughes (East Kilbride): @_JacquelineHugh Mary Poppins, Wicked, Company
Keith Jack (Edinburgh): @KeithJack Any Dream Will Do finalist, Fame
Adam Lake (Falkirk) – @MrAdamLake – Kinky Boots, Cats, Starlight Express (Germany)
Maggie Lynne @MaggieLynneT cover Nessarose, Wicked, Bend It Like Beckham, Peter Pan
Mary Mac (Glasgow) – @MaryMacOfficial UK top Drag Queen
Jai MacDowall – @Jai_Mcdowall Winner Britain’s Got Talent
Lisa Mathieson (Alexandria): @LisaMathieson Love Never Dies, Dusty The Musical, Groundhog Day
Matt McKenna (Glasgow) – @MattMcKenna85 We Will Rock You, Titanic, Falsettos
John Mclarnon (East Kilbride) – Local Hero, Sunshine On Leith, My Left Foot
Gavin Mitchell (Glasgow ) @GavsterNo1 – Still Game, Monarch Of the Glen, Casablanca
Alex Norton (Glasgow) – Braveheart, Pirates of the Caribbean, Two Doors Down, Taggart
George Rae (Ayr) – @GeorgeRaeActor Annie, Still Game, Grand Hotel
Emma Ralston (Glasgow) – @EmmaRalstonUK Queen Of the Mist, Bananaman
Jennifer Tierney (Helensburgh) – @Jenn_Tierney80 Come From Away, Wicked, Mamma Mia
George Ure (Airdrie) – @George_Ure Wicked, Starlight Express, Big Fish, Sweeney Todd
Natalie Williams (Wishaw) – @WeeNatWilli Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Oliver, Maggie May
Lisa Anne Wood (Aberdeen) – @LisaAnneWood Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis
Jordan Young – @Joskyn100 River City, Filth, Scots Squad

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