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A few things have happened over the past few weeks that have inspired to get back to writing my Blog again. Especially as I haven’t written a new entry for months!

I was involved in two shows recently as part of the Greenwich Musical Futures series – a selection of 9 new musicals over 3 days, presented in a “showcase” format, at whatever stage of development they are in. It ranged from rehearsed readings (which was the case of one show I did – Mel Atkey’s “Perfect Timing”) to fully staged and costumed excerpts (such as the one for “Mendoza”) The performing side of things is always going to be fab, especially as for “Perfect Timing” it was mainly script based for my character, which is something I haven’t done for quite while. I am usually “utilised” for the vocal side of things, so to have a bit more text to get your teeth into is great.

In fact the last time that really applied was quite a few years ago in Ken Hill’s “Phantom Of The Opera” which I did in Lincoln. My character (Raoul) only had one solo, a duet, and then part of the sextet. The rest of his stage time is taken with text, which was great fun. And having the chance to play a character who can get some of the laugh lines as well is a joy.

But the real highlight for me was the chance to see, on the final evening, in fact the final show of the series “I Married Wyatt Earp” – by Sheilah Rae, Michele Brourman and Thomas Edward West. A great show with an amazing cast (especially for a showcase version) that totally rekindled my excitement for musical theatre again.

I think there is a specific sound, or emotional texture in pieces that I need to hear to get really fired up about a show. It isn’t always the most popular of shows, or the big block-buster mega-musicals necessarily, but something in the writing that grabs me. And I think must be something quite specific, because I am exposed to quite a wide range of shows and it is only on rare occasions that it really clicks.

I’m pleased to say that listening to “I Married Wyatt Earp” was certainly one of those occasions. And I had to write to Sheilah as soon as I got home to let her know!!

Musically, the style of the piece was an ideal mixture of modern form and standard “musical theatre” structure, without having to veer into pop or rock. The sort of melodies that have you itching to hear more, and some really exciting part work that made a fantastic sound when the whole ensemble were singing together. The added bonus was the calibre of the cast, which included some very well respected names of the Musical Theatre world. The whole cast was great, and included Becky Veer, Rebecca Thornhill, Josefina Gabrielle, Susie McKenna and on and on. Some of the best MT girls around – fab!

The only downside for me is that all the roles are female so I won’t ever get a chance to do the show 🙁

The other exciting thing has been my first faltering foray (f-f-f) into TV work. I have done a few TV jobs in the past, but only as a singer. I was filming a reconstruction for BBC’s Crimewatch (which is showing on the 15th June – in case you’re interested!) of a crime that happened recently. Admittedly it is hardly a starring role in a hit TV series – being a low life mugger – but we all have to start somewhere. It was great fun to film, and the Director was really nice, so I certainly enjoyed the experience.

More power to Wyatt Earp and the Thugs!

Stephen Weller

So, what do you think ?