REVIEW (From a distance): The Future of Musical Theatre – A Virtual Concert

With schools, drama classes and stage schools all closed for the last few months, it’s been tricky for young entertainers to show off their stagey skills. Enter Nathan Seatter-Messer, an ambitious and determined A level student who has set up a new platform to showcase the musical theatre stars of the future while raising funds for charity. Originally intended as an in person concert at his school, Seatter-Messer turned the school closure setback into an opportunity and took the concert into the digital domain. Raising funds for the Barn Theatre and the Theatre Support Fund, the first show took place live on Monday 1 March and plans are already afoot for the second in the series.

The Future of Musical Theatre features 12 young performers, many of whom (including Seatter-Messer himself) are former or current members of The Barn Academy, a performing arts school run by the Barn Theatre in Cirencester. Some are still in school while others are in the early stages of performing arts training but all put on polished, passionate performances from their own homes. Given this limitation, the sound is surprisingly good from everyone but particular kudos to Fin Sawyer for his commitment to Covid concert acoustics, with his rendition of Empty Chairs at Empty Tables taking place from the bathroom!

The digital programme for The Future of Musical Theatre

It’s a well curated concert which is confidently compered by Seatter-Messer. There are some really accomplished performances, including from some of the youngest performers; A level student Mia Endacott puts on a particularly strong performance with Spark of Creation from Children of Eden while Performing Arts BTEC student, Lottie Walker shows off some real attitude with Out Tonight from Rent. Another one to watch out for is 21 year old Charlie Sheppard with a stunning performance of Stars from Les Miserables. Towards the end of the show, Nathan Seatter-Messer shows that he is a multi-talented force to be reckoned with, with his rendition of I Loved You Too Much from I Could Use a Drink: The songs of Drew Gasparini.

The Future of Musical Theatre is a great concert for two great causes and a glimpse at some of the talent that may be gracing professional stages in the not too distant future. We look forward to the next installment in the series. In the meantime, you can check out the first show on demand below: