Also see: Christmas 2021 TV Guide – West End Musicals and London Theatre on TV and streaming this Christmas
BBC Four and BBC iPlayer in the UK have scheduled a new season called “Sunday Night at the Musicals”, featuring TV recordings of a number of live musicals. On the same night of the launch, BBC Four also premieres new interview series “This Cultural Life”, the first episode featuring Sir Kenneth Branagh.
“Sunday Night at the Musicals” kicks off this Sunday, 21 November 2021, with the 2014 BBC Proms recording of Kiss Me Kate at the Royal Albert Hall. 28 November will see the 2017 West End production of An American in Paris; and 5 December will be the 2012 BBC Proms recording of John Wilson on Broadway.
Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate at the Albert Hall was directed by Shaun Kerrison for the stage andBridget Caldwell for TV, with choreography by Alistair David. The stand-out cast includes Louise Dearman, Alexandra Silber, Ben Davis, Tony Yazbeck, Jason Pennycooke, James Doherty, Michael Jibson, Ian Talbot, Louise Marshall, Alex Bourne, Christopher Howell, Michael Pickering, and Gary Watson.
Cole Porter and Sam and Bella Spewack’s Taming of the Shrew play-within-a-play includes classic songs such as “Too Darn Hot”, “Another Op’nin’ Another Show”, “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” and “So in Love”.
Classic Gershwin musical An American in Paris played at the Dominion Theatre in Londondirected and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. The show stars Robert Fairchild as Jerry Mulligan, Leanne Cope as Lise Dassin, and a cast of over 50 actors, dancers and musicians including Zoë Rainey as Milo Davenport, Haydn Oakley as Henri Baurel, Jane Asher as Madame Baurel and David Seadon-Young as Adam Hochberg.
John Wilson on Broadway was recorded in 2012 at the BBC Proms and sees the famous conductor John Wilson and his orchestra work through some of Broadway’s classic musicals including The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, Camelot, On The Town, Funny Girl, West Side Story, Showboat, and more. Performers in the concert include Seth McFarlane, Sierra Boggess, Rodney Early Clarke, Julian Ovenden, Anna-Jane Casey, and Elizabeth Llewellyn.
Also starting on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer this Sunday 21 November is a new series called “This Cultural Life“. This BBC Radio Four series hosted by John Wilson (the journalist, not the conductor!) features in-depth conversations with creatives.
Selected episodes of the radio series have been filmed, and the series kicks off with Wilson interviewing Kenneth Branagh.
Branagh talks about the key influences and inspirations that have shaped his own work, and reveals some of his formative artistic experiences and discusses his creative process.
Episode 2 on 28 November will see the Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo talk about the formative experiences and cultural influences that have had a profound effect on her work; and 5 December is a wide-ranging interview with film director Mike Leigh.
Watch the “Sunday Night at the Musicals” trailer here.