Musical theatre stars and recent graduates unite for an online charity concert

Published by: Jess Stoddard / Manchester Metropolitan University | 19-Oct-2020
Musical theatre stars and recent graduates are teaming up with Britain's Got Talent alumni for the online charity concert, @FutureSpotlight. #SpotlightOnTheFutureLIVE #OnlineConcert #MusicalTheatre
West End stars from shows Les Misérables, Wicked, SIX and Mamma Mia! will perform live with a selection of this year's most talented musical theatre graduates.

I spoke to the creator and producer, Louis Rayneau, about what we can expect. "We've got to just create opportunities, and we've got to make the most of the situation," Louis said.

"The arts is one of those things that most of us did take for granted because we always knew that it was there in our lives," Louis explains. "Then the minute it's taken away, we are saying 'Okay, cool. What do we do now?'"

The pandemic has been detrimental to the arts and forced theatres and drama schools around the country to close. Six months since closing, the industry is still waiting to re-open their doors to the public again. Concerts like this are giving audiences their dose of showbiz while illustrating how the arts are resilient and the need for it in our lives.

"The idea for this came to us following the success of our recent Spotlight on the Future web duet series, featuring many of the same performers," he said.

"It was only meant to be a web duet series, and now it's turned into a full-blown concert which is amazing."

Hosted by Britain's Got Talent's Charlotte Jaconelli and Michael Auger, the concert is set to be a great night and not to be missed.

For most of the performers, this is the first time they have performed on a stage since lockdown. West End star Carl Man explained how invigorating it was to be back on stage.

"It was so incredible to feel like I was part of a team again, and collaborate with the singers and the incredible band," Man explained. "It just felt so refreshing to be in the same room and on the same stage as other people."

Inspired by the X Factor performance and collaboration between Alexandra Burke and Beyonce, Louis wanted to help the graduates get some exposure and extra advice from the professionals.

"This project was for the graduates," Louis said. "It's to give them a platform."

"I wanted to reignite the spark back into the industry, and reassure the graduates that they aren't forgotten about."

"Obviously right now there are no opportunities for graduates or anyone wanting to pursue a career in the arts," Man said. "This project is inspiring and introducing them to the industry. It's also giving the West End professionals a chance to fall in love with their craft again and pass on some knowledge to the new talent."

The charity concert will raise money for Make A Wish Foundation, Acting For Others, Stop Hate UK and Lebanon Red Cross.

"My main goal for everything was to make it for the charities," Louis explains. "I thought if you're doing something entertaining, I'd rather do something that's about other people and like helping other people at the same time."

Showcasing a collection of solos, duets, trios and quartets from the professionals and graduates, the performers will be accompanied by a band, lead by musical director Ed Court, featuring musicians from the West End production of SIX.

"It's one of those concerts where there is something for everyone," Louis continued. "It's not just musical theatre songs, so don't worry if you don't really like musicals that much."

Louis talks about a moment when Jodi Bird and Millie Cranston were singing "Pulled" from The Adams Family Musical, which he said gave him chills.

"They did it in one take, and then the room went silent. They looked at each other and said 'I think that was it.' It was mindblowing watching them on stage together."

"I think it's going to be amazing for musical theatre fans," Louis said. "You've got musical theatre classics in the show with such a twist that it's not disrespectful to the writer. It's just given that little extra enhancement to make it now and current."

"It is literally one of the most epic concerts you will ever see in your life. Everyone involved is mind-blowingly good. And it's raising money for charity, so when you buy a ticket, you're helping causes that are changing people's lives," Louis concluded.

Spotlight on the Future features exceptional musical talents of both performers and musicians, streamed directly into your home.

Spotlight on the Future LIVE! will be streamed online from 6th to 9th November 2020. Tickets available on their website.

Early bird tickets booked before 19th October cost £10 (plus booking fee). After this date, tickets will be £15 (plus booking fee).

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