Michael Roulston is a performer and composer. A recent feature article in the U.S. publication Cabaret Scenes said “Roulston’s creative output spans mainstream and alternative genres, and shapes artistic endeavors all over the capital. His work ethic can only be described as heroic… As his reputation grows, and his influence spreads, cabaret devotees can feel reassured that London cabaret is in safe, adventurous hands. Musical Theatre Review said ‘Roulston is an accomplished and versatile musical director and composer who appears to be constantly working in the West End and beyond. A regular face behind the piano at practically every major cabaret venue in London’.
In 2016 he won Mervyn Stutter’s Spirit Of The Fringe Award at the Edinburgh Festival to recognise his accompaniment work. His Cabaret Whore show series created with Sarah-Louise Young won the Three Weeks Editors’ Award and a London Cabaret Award for Best Musical Variety Act. Their show ‘La Poule Plombée’ won The Stage Newspaper Edinburgh Fringe Award 2016 and an Argus Angel Award. The show Postmortem, created with Dusty Limits, was a finalist in the TimeOut & Soho Theatre (TO&ST) Cabaret Award. ‘
‘Roulston is a true virtuoso on the piano, playing and improvising with ease’ ★★★★★’ Broadway Baby, ʻIncomparable character cabaret replete with an equally strong original songbook’ ★★★★★ The Stage.
He is highly in-demand, having collaborated many world class performers including Dillie Keane (UK tours and Brits Off Broadway 2016) and Fascinating Aida (creating additional material for their Cheap Flights tour). With Meow Meow (BBC1’s John Bishop Show and Brighton Festival) and with Dusty Limits whom TimeOut described as ‘The trailblazer’. A review in The Scotsman for their show Postmortem simply said ‘Do. Not. Miss. This’. He recently presented a masterclass with Barb Jungr for the London Festival of Cabaret and has accompanied the multi award winning American singer Karen Oberlin in London at the Crazy Coqs.
His highly successful collaboration ‘Julie, Madly, Deeply’ which has played London’s West End, a UK tour, Australia and Canada also looks forward to a USA tour in 2017. The show has garnered exceptional praise including: ‘…apart from his technical skills as an arranger and performer, Roulston is a chameleon of the keyboard who adjusts his style effortlessly to the needs of his singing partners. I have seen him now perform live with three or four different vocalists, one would assume there was a separate pianist on each occasion…. He unveils a fully orchestral palette of sound and those tight, biting, rhythmic anticipations that even in the sweetest and slightest songs set a high technical bar ★★★★★‘ British Theatre Guide.
The double act ‘Roulston & Young’ has received these comments: ‘…easy chemistry, clever music, witty lyrics, relentless charm and their ability to entertain is a sheer joy to behold. These two are at the top of their game. See them if you can, in any show they offer. They are simply London’s comedic musical cabaret at its best’ Cabaret Scenes. ‘The piano leaps, hops, simpers and croons under Michael Roulston’s enthusiastic direction… entertainment at it’s most dazzling… heart-warming, comforting and immensely uplifting’ The Upcoming.
He has performed with “Christine Bovill’s Piaf” in the UK and Europe and the act been endorsed by Charles Du Monde, writer of “Je Ne Regrette Rien”, Piaf’s epitaph. ‘The entire audience was on its feet, shouting, whistling, stamping its feet and smiling… Grown men wept. ★★★★★‘ Edinburghfestival.org.
He co-created The Entire History of Cabaret (Edfringe & UK tour) with Shoo Shoo Baby. The Scotsman newspaper said he is “…not just a fine pianist but also the possessor of golden tonsils” of his singing voice.
Dusty Limits 2015 album ‘Grin’ which he composed, arranged and co-produced gained superlative press, including: ‘Roulston grasps the breadth and depth of the eloquent text, intelligent subtext, and biting social commentary of Limits’s lyrics, his music serving as creative amplification, bringing the energy of a live performance into the studio recording with layered textures of sound’. Cabaret Scenes.
Lili La Scala’s 2015 album Siren which he produced, arranged and wrote songs for has also had high praise: “When you listen you’re hypnotised straight away, no matter how much you may wish to stop listening, you can’t… This album sends shivers down my spine. I have been completely swept away” Kettlemag.co.uk
Other collaborators include: Ali McGregor, Shoo Shoo Baby, Chris Green, The Black Cat Cabaret, Marcus Reeves, David Hoyle, Jonny Woo, Varla Jean Merman, Harold Sanditen, Fiona Coffey, Lynn Ruth Miller, Chris Green, Valerie Cutko, Marcel Lucont, Laurie Hagen, Nathan Evans, Fancy Chance, Miss Polly Rae, Ophelia Bitz, Holly Penfield, Tricity Vogue, Champagne Charlie & The Bubbly Boys.
His songs can be heard in venues such as Cafe De Paris, Soho Theatre, The Wonderground, Double RR Club, The Famous Spiegel Tent, The Hippodrome, The Savoy, St James Theatre, The Pheasantry, Torture Garden, The Crazy Coqs, The Vaults and various New York and Australian venues.