BBC commissions ‘U.Me: The Musical’ for global premiere this May
The radio musical features music by Everybody’s Talking About Jamie creatives.
UPDATE: Stephen Fry will be the narrator of U.Me: The Musical, and the cast will be led by Anoushka Lucas and Martin Sarreal. The musical will be staged for radio and podcast, and the first episode of the podcast will premiere on BBC Sounds on 10 May.
A brand new musical set in the current global pandemic will receive its world premiere from the BBC, it has been announced. Titled U.Me: The Musical, the original production will premiere on 12 May via BBC World Service and BBC Sounds.
U.Me: The Musical follows Rose and Ryo, two young adults who meet each other in a work conference and immediately hit it off. Rose is in London, while Ryo is in Kyoto, but they make their lives come together, even if they’re alone during lockdowns.
Simon Pitts and Theo Jamieson come together to write the book, with music and lyrics by Jamieson. Prior to U.Me: The Musical, Jamieson was the music director for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre.
Speaking about the musical, Pitts said: "It can take six years to create a new musical for the West End or Broadway. We're writing and arranging and recording u.me in 5 months during lockdown… [it’s] a project touching on our shared global experience over this last extraordinary year."
Ahead of the premiere, Jamieson said: “The BBC wanted to do a radio musical in response to the covid pandemic, a romance in this moment we are in that would get the blood pumping and raise goosebumps. When all guns are blazing on a musical, nothing generates that much energy and that much feeling.”
U.Me: The Musical will feature the BBC Philarmonic Orchestra, as well as 60 musicians from across the United Kingdom.
As well as the upcoming production, BBC Arts have launched a ‘Lights Up’ initiative, with stars including Giles Terera and Juliet Stevenson taking part, as well as a filmed performance of J’Ouvert which will open at the Harold Pinter Theatre this May.
U.Me: The Musical is available from 12 May. You can watch a trailer here.
Photo credit: BBC Philarmonic Orchestra (Photo still courtesy of BBC)