A lot of West End performers have featured in my In Profile articles since I began writing them nearly three years ago, and one who has certainly proven me right in naming him as ‘one to watch’ is Stuart Matthew Price. Once described as “one of our finest stage singers” by The Stage, he has been equally celebrated for his composing skills. The singer/song writer is leaving soon to reprise his role as Riff Raff in the European Tour of The Rocky Horror Show, but before he goes, he will be making his final London appearance at the St James Studio for the one-night only event Melodies In Motion.
This unique concert is dedicated to celebrating the work of this acclaimed musical theatre performer and award-winning composer , as he takes the audience on a journey through his writing since the age of fourteen. Songs will include material from the original musicals he’s written alongside some of his stand-alone songs, performed by him and a few special guest vocalists he’ll be bringing with him, direct from the West End stage. Announced in the line-up so far are two of the West End’s loveliest leading ladies, Lauren Samuels and Charlotte Wakefield.
Lauren Samuels rose to fame on BBC television talent show Over The Rainbow in 2010, and after placing third in the contest, went on to play such roles as Wendy in Peter Pan (Leicester Curve), Sandy in Grease (Piccadilly Theatre), Water Babies (Leicester Curve), and most notably, Scaramouche in We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre, UK Tour).
Charlotte Wakefield is known for playing Wendla Bergman in Spring Awakening (Lyric Hammersmith), Sophie in Mamma Mia (Novello Theatre/International Tour) and Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music (Open Air Theatre), the latter of which earned her an Olivier nomination.
Stuart Matthew Price performed with Wakefield in the Regent’s Park Theatre revival of The Sound of Music, playing the non-singing role of Franz the Butler. His on-stage credits stretch further than the one show however. He has appeared in two productions at the Donmar Warehouse, playing Scotty in Merrily We Roll Along and Young Soldier/Frankie Epps in Parade, and also had an ensemble role in the West End production of Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, playing Pig of Sticks/Walter/Knight and covering the role of Pinocchio. His other stage credits include Bugsy Malone (Queens Theatre), The Cradle Will Rock (Arcola Theatre), Departure Lounge (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Vampirette (Manchester Opera House) and The A-Z of Mrs P and Mack and Mabel (Southwark Playhouse).
His talent for entertaining is not just limited to acting in musical theatre roles, but extends to his composing work. He has performed his own material at many cabarets/concerts and has won several awards for his work. He won the Tim Williams Award for Composition at the fourth annual TWA event in 2011 for his song ‘Stories For Heroes’, and was also named the ‘Most Promising Under 18 Musical Writer’ at the Stoll Moss Theatres Award in 2009 for Searching, the first musical he ever wrote.
Price has written five musicals in his composing career, starting with Searching, which he wrote when he was just fourteen. Another titled The Diary of Me made its première at the Harlow Playhouse in 2006, while Moving On was his newest creation. He is currently writing new musical Before After, which is set to make its première in Japan this November.
He also released his début album, All Things In Time, in 2010 on the SimG Records label. The album was a showcase for his voice rather than his song writing talents, although his song composition, ‘Autumn Days’ was featured. The rest of the material was written by the likes of Dougal Irvine, Scott Alan and Stiles & Drew, and included duets for Price with such stage stars as Caissie Levy and Louise Dearman. In addition to working on Before After, he is also in the process of making a follow-up album which will this time feature 12 new songs written by him.
The upcoming album will be titled Melodies In Motion, the name which he has also given to his upcoming concert at the St James Studio. The concert takes place at the popular London venue on 13th September 2014 and will showcase songs from musicals Earth 3001 and The Diary of Me, as well as offering an exclusive preview of Before After. Stand-alone songs will include ‘Road To Heaven’, ‘Ready For You’ and the award-winning ‘Stories of Heroes’, along with many more.
The Mountview graduate is one of the best additions to the industry we have at the moment, as both a performer and a composer. His absence will be felt while he’s touring around Europe with The Rocky Horror Show, but Stuart Matthew Price is too much of a talent to be away from London for too long. Whether you have an interest in new writing or just like to hear a great voice sing, his Melodies In Motion concert is sure to be a wonderful way to spend an evening.
By Julie Robinson: @missjulie25
Tuesday 19th August 2014