Last Updated on 30th January 2022
TV audiences watching BBC’s Big Night Of Musicals across the UK last night were treated to a smorgasbord of modern musicals currently entertaining audiences every night.
Jason Manford hosted the BBC’s Big Night of Musicals by the National Lottery last night at the Manchester’s AO Arena. As Ameena Hamid, producer of The Wiz at the Hope Mill Theatre put it “it’s about bringing joy back after the last two years”. I couldn’t have put it better.
Thousands filled the arena and were treated to a cavalcade of songs featured from current musicals. Musicals are nothing without their orchestras and the mighty orchestra at the Big Night Of Musicals under the baton of John Ranger were outstanding.
It was great to see theatres including Leicester’s Curve, Manchester’s Hope Mill and the Theatre Royal Plymouth featured in the programming along with innovative theatre group Ramps On The Moon and musical theatre performer Beth Hinton-Lever breaking down barriers on so many levels with musical theatre.
Seeing the actual casts of these great shows featured was a terrific credit to British theatre, the show’s writers and creatives. What upset me was that only a few of these great performers were credited anywhere in the broadcast or in the credits. Take note BBC!
Here’s a summary of the shows featured:-
DREAMGIRLS – Currently touring
Nicole Raquel Dennis with Natalie Kasanga, Paige Peddie and the cast were stunning with a medley of One Night Open, Listen and Dreamgirls.
BACK TO THE FUTURE THE MUSICAL – Adelphi Theatre.
Cedric Neal as young Goldie Wilson and the cast of Back To The Future went back to where it all started in the City of Manchester with You Gotta Start Somewhere.
DISNEY ON STAGE
FROZEN THE MUSICAL – Theatre Royal Drury Lane
THE LION KING – Lyceum Theatre, London and Touring
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – On Tour and London Palladium
Featured Samantha Barks and Stephanie McKeon from Frozen the musical, Thenjiwe Nofamele and Kayi Ushe and the cast of The Lion King, Courtney Stapleton and Shaq Taylor from Beauty and the Beast with a stunning selection that included I Can’t Lose You, Beauty and the Beast, He Lives In You, and Let It Go!
THE WIZ – Hope Mill Theatre
The cast of The Wiz at the Hope Mill Theatre went from a small house to an arena as they performed Ease On Down The Road with Cherelle Williams as Dorothy and Tarik Frimpong as Scarecrow and the cast.
DEAR EVAN HANSEN – Noel Coward Theatre, London
Olivier Award-winner Sam Tutty, Samantha Mbolekwa, and Mitchell Zhangazha were wonderful with You Will Be Found
JIM STEINMAN’S BAT OUT OUT OF HELL THE MUSICAL – Touring
Glen Adamson and Martha Kirby with the cast of Bat Out Of Hell sang the title song which had particular meaning with the passing of Meat Loaf last week.
Jake Sharp and the cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock bought the house down with Teacher’s Pet.
Chelsea Halfpenny performed She Used To Be Mine from Waitress the musical. The heartfelt closer to the show penned by Sara Bareilles.
Beverley Knight, Adam J Bernard, Tarinn Calender, Mayy Henry and Tosh Wanogho-Maud showcased Kissing in The Back Row / There Goes My First Love / Harlem Child / You’re More Than A Number In My Little Red Book bringing the wonderful Drifter’s hits back to life.
GET UP, STAND UP! THE BOB MARLEY MUSICAL – West End
Arinzé Kene and the cast performed One Love and Jammin from the show.
Keala Settle and David Bedella performed Teenage Dream and Break Free from this modern re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet.
TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL – Aldwych Theatre London
Aisha Jawando closed the show raising the roof with a medley of We Don’t Need Another Hero, Simply The Best and Proud Mary.
Thanks to Jason Manford and everyone involved in such a great nights entertainment and to the National Lottery for their continued support of theatre across the UK. The show will be on BBC iPlayer for 11 months so take a look if you missed it.