Theatre News

Arthur Darvill and Emma Hatton feature on new musical album

The compilation will also feature stars of ”Kinky Boots” and ”Les Miserables”

An all-star line-up has been announced for a new musical theatre album, due to be released on 7 September.

"To Do. To Be", which is available to pre-order on iTunes and Dress Circle now, features brand new musical theatre writing from Tim Prottey-Jones (Kinky Boots, Once, Superstar) and co-writers Tori Allen-Martin, Nick Smithers, Angela Prottey-Jones, Martin Meehan, Daragh Carville and best selling author, Ali Harris.

The album will include vocals from Amy Lennox (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), Emma Hatton (Wicked, We Will Rock You), Alistair Brammer (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables), Declan Bennett (Eastenders, Once), Tyrone Huntley (Memphis, The Book Of Mormon), Zrinka Cvitesic (Once), Evelyn Hoskins (Carrie), Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who, Once), Tim Prottey-Jones (Kinky Boots, Once) and Laura Pitt-Pulford (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, The Sound Of Music)

They are joined by Joe Tracini (Hollyoaks, Spamalot), Jacqueline Hughes (Wicked), Paul Ayres (Kinky Boots), Ambra Caserotti (Rent), Brian Gilligan (The Commitments), Cameron Sharp (Rock Of Ages).

Andrew Bateup (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) completes the line-up having won a nationwide competition to find an up-and-coming artist to perform on the album.

The album will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Dress Circle and at the Theatre Cafe.

We caught up with Tim to find out more about the album:

What was your inspiration behind making To Do. To Be?

All of the tracks on the album are from new and original pieces of musical theatre, musical short films or feature length movie musicals. Each were co-written with wonderful lyricists and with it being nearly four years since my last album, I had so much material that I wanted to put out there again.

I fear that new, brilliant British musical theatre writing is very much overlooked when it comes to support from fans and theatre press. Our counterparts from America, for instance, seem to have an element of mystique about them that makes them seemingly more exciting to the audiences over here.

So, not only am I releasing an album of new material, I’m also introducing an audience to the six new musical projects that this material is taken from. The hope is that there is something there for everyone to enjoy and get behind.

How did you pick who to feature on the album?

This is always a tricky part of the process. As per my previous albums, each track has a different vocalist and I am always trying the get that balance of new talent, my favourite performers and also finding people not particularly known for their singing and yet are able to seriously impress with it.

But, that’s essentially it, it’s finding those people who love and support new writing, those who perhaps enjoy the challenge of a different genre and quite honestly, those who blow me away!

Holding a competition for an open slot on the album was a risk, no?

You know what…no! Having formed a ‘Twitter Choir’ on my last album, I know all too well the remarkable talent that is out there on social media. I like to think that I had an album worthy song for whoever was to win.

The results were fascinating too! Our judges, Rachel Tucker, John Owen Jones, Mark Shenton and WhatsOnStage’s very own Ben Hewis all picked different winners and so it came down to a points system to determine the winner. Andrew Bateup was our winner and having now recorded him, his voice is so well suited to this material and I’m very proud to have held this competition.

Who is "To Do. To Be." aimed at?

I think this album can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys catchy, memorable hooks and lyrics that tell a very vivid story. These are story songs, they paint pictures and depict characters, so imagine chart friendly songs, stripped back with added lyrical depth and there you have it.

Each song works as a standalone track, in or out of context, so it will suit the modern day trend of people who only buy singles. However, the instrumentation and composition style also make this a cohesive album for a discerning CD buying audience.

What is your go to track when you are:

a) Feeling Down

It would have to be something thoroughly aggressive like the entire "Hail to the King" album by Avenged Sevenfold on my car stereo, driving to nowhere in particular.

b) In the mood for a party

This would just have to be my special party iPod playlist comprising of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Sia, David Guetta and Jason Derulo. Take your pick!

c) Trying to relax

My favourite album right now… actually ideal for all moods. "Nothing but the Silence" by Striking Matches. It’s just perfect.