Apart from the occasional theme week special on shows such as Strictly Come Dancing or Dancing on Ice, it is not very often that the world of musical theatre complete with glitz, glamour and show tunes hit primetime on our televisions, but on Sunday night (Feb 7) that all changes as Musicals: The Greatest Show takes pride of place in the evening schedule on BBC One.
It’s been nearly a year since theatres were forced to close their doors due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and with it still unclear when performance venues will be able to reopen, the industry is struggling and theatre fans are missing it massively. Last weekend, BBC Radio 2 dedicated a great deal of their airtime to musical theatre, playing songs from the shows and featuring a number of interviews from performers and creatives, highlighting the industry’s plight.
Musicals: The Greatest Show is a 80 minute special, featuring performances from a number to well known stage performers including Michael Ball (Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, Hairspray etc) , Kerry Ellis (Wicked, Cats, We Will Rock You etc), Ramin Karimloo (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, most recently seen playing Kian Madani in BBC Holby City) and Layton Williams (Billy Elliot, Rent, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie etc), alongside cast members from smash hits Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Mamma Mia!
The show, hosted by Sheridan Smith, was filmed live at the famous London Palladium, is a celebration of musical theatre and stands to remind people watching at home just what we are all missing with the theatres still closed by highlighting the music and the talent of our favourite shows.
The show begins, or should we say the curtain rises, at 7.40pm on BBC One and iPlayer on Sunday night, with viewers encouraged to tweet along with the programme and show the theatre industry some love by using the hashtag #TheGreatestShow