In September 2011, Wendy Gill was driving through London when, on her car radio, she heard Caro Emerald’s single “A Night Like This” on BBC Radio 2. She was immediately struck by the potential of the song as a musical theatre number, and she set about researching Caro Emerald, her writers and publishers, and acquiring a copy of Caro’s first album “Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor”.

 

Before long Wendy had taken every track from the album and used them to weave the story of a City of London playboy called Rick (the eponymous “That Man”) and a young immigrant singer called Rosa.  

 

Wendy attended Caro Emerald’s live concert at the Roundhouse in London in 2012 where she approached Caro’s songwriter and manager David Schreurs, telling him about her idea of writing a musical using his songs. David was intrigued and gave Wendy the go-ahead to pursue her idea.  The first draft of the musical, named THAT MAN after what was then one of Caro’s biggest hits, was selected in 2013 as the first musical to be given a rehearsed reading at London’s renowned Player-Playwrights workshop.

BACKGROUND

 

In 2014 Wendy approached London-based writer and director Paul Boyd with her script and a host of ideas to develop the show further, including incorporating more songs from Caro’s recently released second album “The Shocking Miss Emerald”.  Paul began mentoring Wendy as she redrafted the show, and in August a workshop production of the show was staged at London Theatre Workshop to a sell-out audience.

 

Using feedback from the workshop production, Wendy and Paul began working on a new version of the show, setting the story in London’s infamous Flamingo Club at the height of its notoriety in 1957 and including more Caro Emerald songs than ever before.  In September 2016 a special staged concert production of THAT MAN was presented at The Hippodrome in the heart of London’s West End, accompanied by a live band and performed by a cast of West End stars, lead by TV actor Jonny Labey.  Songwriters David Schreurs and Vincent DeGiorgio, record company Grandmono, and the associated music publishers sent representatives to the show.

 

In March 2017 writers Wendy Gill, David Schreurs, and Vincent DeGiorgio met in Amsterdam to discuss the show’s future and Grandmono’s involvement.