TV and stage star Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton, Company) is set to present a new BBC Radio 2 documentary about how the West End and Broadway theatre communities tackled the impact of HIV and AIDS in the 1990’s.
Called The Showstopper, the programme will be broadcast in March 2023 on BBC Radio 2, and then available on the BBC Sounds app.
This year marks 40 years since the HIV AIDS virus was named, and devastated lives all over the world. The theatre communities of New York and London were greatly impacted by the virus, and this programme mixes music and memories to tell the story of HIV’s impact on theatre, and how this community supported those affected.
The documentary includes interviews with producers Cameron Mackintosh and Nick Allott; lyricist Tim Rice; Musical Director Jae Alexander; actor and activist Jill Nalder, who starred in Les Miserables, Oliver! and was immortalised by Russell T Davis in Channel 4 drama It’s a Sin; actress Claire Moore (The Phantom of the Opera), who is about to star in The Great British Bake Off Musical at the Noel Coward Theatre; actor, director and choreographer Craig Revel Horwood; actor and producer Stifyn Parri (Les Miserables, Brookside); and former Make A Difference charity head Melanie Tranter, who ran the West End Cares charity.
Jonathan Bailey said in a press statement: “It is my privilege to share in this Radio 2 programme the stories that must not be forgotten of a musical theatre world that was devasted by fear and discrimination, but at the same time uplifted by the love, care and bravery of an overwhelmingly supportive community.”
Jonathan Bailey is currently set to star in the forthcoming Wicked movies; he won an Olivier Award in 2019 for his performance in Company at the Gielgud Theatre, and his last West End appearance was in Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre.