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Cumming Back, Brian May Backs Ellis Anthem

By • West End
Olivier and Tony Award winner Alan Cumming is returning to the West End - for one night only - next month to star in Lance Horne: First Things Last, a concert celebrating the composer at the Garrick Theatre on 30 January 2011.

Alongside Cumming, the line-up will also feature “post-modern cabaret diva” Meow Meow, West End stars Julie Atherton, Paul Spicer, Hannah Waddingham, Emma Williams and Broadway's Norm Lewis, who’s currently appearing in the West End in Les Miserables.

Hot on the heels of its inclusion in the Lincoln Center’s acclaimed American Songbook series, Lance Horne: First Things Last celebrates the release of Horne’s debut album of the same name (which comes out on 11 January).

Lance Horne is a composer, lyricist and performer who produces and musically directs original works in collaboration with artists from around the world. Featuring a wide array of guests from Broadway and the West End, First Things Last is his "latest exploration of the most engaging sounds from musical theatre".

Alan Cumming was last in the West End last year with his solo show I Bought a Blue Car Today. His other recent stage credits include headlining the West End revival of Martin Sherman’s Bent in 2006 and playing Dionysus in the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of The Bacchae at the Edinburgh International Festival and at London’s Lyric Hammersmith in 2007.

Lance Horne: First Things Last is produced by Neil Eckersley & Paul Spicer for Speckulation Entertainment, and directed by Daisy Prince, with musical direction by Lance Horne, and sound design by Ben Evans.


In other concert news, Kerry Ellis, a former Whatsonstage.com Award winner (for Wicked) who’s been nominated once again this year in the Best Takeover in a Role category (for Oliver!), and Queen guitarist Brian May will perform the live version of their album Anthems at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 1 May 2011, as a benefit for Leukaemia & Lymphona Research.

After appearing as one of Martine McCutcheon’s understudies in My Fair Lady, Ellis’ breakthrough role came in 2002 when she was cast as Meat in the premiere of Queen musical We Will Rock You at the West End’s Dominion Theatre.


Brian May & Kerry Ellis on stage together

Since then, Ellis and May have performed together at the Royal Variety Show in 2008, the BBC Proms in the Park, and at the Royal Albert Hall, in The Night of 1000 Voices and the Remembrance Day Concert.

For Anthems: The Concert, May will perform new arrangements of songs he’s specially chosen for Ellis, who he’ll accompany on guitar and vocals. The pair will be joined on stage by Broadway’s Adam Pascal, with whom Ellis appeared at the Albert Hall in Chess in Concert. The stars are accompanied by the City of London Philharmonic, the Anthems Ensemble, the West End Chorus and Dancers. Hugh Wooldridge produces.

Commenting on Ellis, Brian May said: “From the moment I first heard Kerry sing, I was entranced, and felt the conviction that I would one day make an album for her. That conviction never left me. The hard thing was to find the right medium to harness that amazing voice – the material and arrangements had to be worthy, and a musical style evolved to capture her unique magic. Anthems: The Concert will show we’ve created together, a style that defines a new form of music – a kind of anthemic-orchestral-rock-musical-theatre fusion.”


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