The last few months have been very frustrating for Graham and Sarah Wilkinson and all the team at Spotlight Productions. They have had to cancel their annual show – ‘Oliver!’ – and income from their costume and scenery hiring ‘business’ used to fund their annual show has been decimated. Being the positive people they are, the unexpected lull has provided an opportunity to plan ahead and reshape Spotlight for the future. I’ve been really enjoying our regular Zoom and Skype calls, and it’s lovely to see some of the ideas we have been discussing and working on start budding into life.
While I don’t want to give the game away on some of the exciting things being planned, I wanted to provide an update on some of the things I’m involved in. Spotlight is looking to embrace the ‘on line’ world more through the recording (audio and video) of its young performers. Furthermore, with very poor backing tracks available for many musical numbers, we felt there was a great opportunity to record our own, to be used for videos, rehearsing and future live performances.
As a result, I am delighted to be working with Laurence T. Stannard to produce backing tracks for some of the best musical theatre songs. Laurence has just graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge with a degree in Music. As well as singing in the world-renowned St John’s College Choir, Laurence is a talented pianist and is passionate about musical theatre, being a Musical Director and a composer. He recently composed the music for the comedy-musical ‘Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area’, which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and I will be helping to record (audio and video) parts of his forthcoming musical, which will be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2021.
I will provide updates in due course as more of the exciting plans come to fruition. The end of the coronavirus restrictions could not come too soon, and I also look forward to kick-starting recordings with soprano Faye Hart, as we tackle the famous arias from Handel’s ‘Messiah’ with some of the most beautiful churches in the county as backdrops.
The performing world has taken a dramatic hit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and it will be great to see it burst back into life!