History of the Show

The Nat King Cole Musical Revue

In 2006 Colin Roy was approached by Mark Clements the artistic director of the New End Theatre Hampstead London to create a show for a six week Christmas special. The Nat King Cole Musical Revue was born.

How it all began…
The Nat King Cole Musical Revue was devised and written by Colin Roy who, without realising, was strangely destined to play the role of Nat King Cole after a series of fortuitous events. Whilst working as a principal singer for Caribbean Cruise Lines, Colin met Gretchen Adamson. Her late husband Harold Adamson had composed a song, recorded by Nat King Cole, which was the title track of the 1956 movie entitled Around The World In Eighty Days; an adaptation of the Jules Verne novel.

As a tribute to Harold Adamson, Colin was asked to sing Around The World with the ships musicians. The song seemed very familiar to him as his mother and father were great Nat King Cole fans so, from a very young age, he was introduced to this wonderful music. Colin used this inspiration to perform the song to Gretchen, she was clearly moved by his rendition and he never forgot her sincere commendation of his voice and she told him, these are the songs that you should be singing. Colin recorded Mona Lisa, Smile and Unforgettable, these were featured on the ships radio constantly and would prove to be a taste of things to come.


Later on, whilst starring in Cameron Mackintosh’s Five Guy’s Named Moe, a member of the audience approached Colin after the show and said “you sound a bit like Nat King Cole” – what a fabulous compliment! Steve Hill (now the musical director for The Nat King Cole Musical Revue), met Colin on that same production of Five Guy’s and, for some curious reason over the years, always encouraged him to do a celebration of Nat King Cole’s music.

The opportunity finally arose in 2006 when Colin was asked by Mark Clements the artistic director of The New End Theatre in Hampstead, London to put on a show for six weeks over Christmas and New Year. Filling two hours sounded like quite a feat, let alone six weeks!


Colin started by writing down a list of shows and songs that he knew and, even after spending almost 10 years performing in various West End musical productions, off the top of his head and top of the list, came forty songs made popular by Nat King Cole. The Christmas Song came top of the list since that is one of the most popular songs during the festive season. Colin set about writing the script and was fortunate enough to be in contact with the knowledgeable Roy Holmes, head of The International Nat King Cole Fan Club. Roy kindly provided a wealth of research material which Colin eagerly absorbed, gaining a true understanding and deeper admiration of the incomparable legend. Roy authenticated the script to ensure that the details – dates, songs, facts etc, were correct. Roy was featured in the BBC Television documentary The World of Nat and what he doesn’t know about Nat, not even Nat knew himself!

Colin called upon fellow performer and friend Danny John-Jules to direct the show and together they strived to create a musical revue that would be a fitting tribute to such a great prodigy, not only to bring his music to the stage but to tell some of his fascinating life story. With the emphasis heavily on entertainment, generously sprinkled with humour and brimming with great music skilfully played by London’s top West End musicians. Colin and Danny thoroughly enjoyed the challenge!

Nat King Cole was one of Capitol Records most successful recording artistes and their premises, the Capitol Records Tower became known as `The House That Nat Built’.

The House That Nat Built was born again and became The Nat King Cole Musical Revue. Since its successful premier at The New End Theatre the show has toured the UK and has been performed worldwide, including Hollywood.

It is Colin’s absolute pleasure to bring you this show and your support is greatly appreciated.

BACKGROUND

Nat King Cole was one of Capitol Records most successful recording artistes and their premises
the Capitol Records Tower became known as The House That Nat Built

Contact Linda
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