A Challenging Year for Spotlight, but We Pray for a Brighter 2021 With New Recordings

Mark Heath photoTo say 2020 has been a challenging year for Spotlight Productions is an understatement. Their 2020 production of ‘Oliver the Musical’, scheduled for April 2020, had to be cancelled, much to the disappointment of the young people taking part and their families.

At the time, there was an expectation/hope that things would be back to normal by the end of the year, allowing Oliver to delight packed audiences in April 2021. Early in the year, I’m not sure many people would have predicted the true impact of coronavirus and the length of time it would affect performing arts. With the recent national lockdown, and continued restrictions, it has not been possible to hold the regular rehearsals necessary to produce a high-quality production. It is very disappointing that Spotlight has had to cancel their planned show in April 2021, meaning that coronavirus has caused the loss of two years of amazing show runs. When it rains, it pours!

All is not lost, however. Spotlight is currently planning an amazing Christmas spectacular for December 2021, and I have plans to video some of the best songs from a broad range of musicals so that people can enjoy them online. I have been remotely working with pianist and composer Laurence T. Stannard to record backing tracks for next December’s concert. Laurence recently graduated with a degree in music from St John’s College, Cambridge.

While I had hoped to have recorded several videos of Laurence and various soloists by now, this will now have to wait until 2021 when restrictions should be relaxed, hopefully.

In the meantime, please enjoy some preliminary test recordings I’ve made with Laurence, below. Here is one of my favourite songs – ‘Never Enough’ from ‘The Greatest Showman’. The delicate piano entry is delightful.


Here is another favourite – ‘On My Own’ from ‘Les Misérables’. I’m always reminded of the Spotlight dress rehearsal when Steph Wilson gave an incredible performance as Éponine. As I was taking photos, including the one above, I had goosebumps all over. Absolutely amazing.