Entertainment & Arts

West End stars to host musical theatre radio station

Ramin Karimloo
Image caption Phantom of the Opera star Ramin Karimloo is among those signed up to host

Leading West End performers have signed up to front shows on a new radio station dedicated to musical theatre.

Stage Door will see stars such as Ramin Karimloo and Alex Gaumond host slots on the 24-hour digital station.

"We're creating Stage Door to bridge the gap between listening to a CD and seeing a show," Simon Willis, of Wise Buddah, told The Stage.

"It'll offer great songs from the best shows and be presented by the leading men and women of the West End."

Gaumond, who will shortly take up the role of Miss Trunchbull in West End hit Matilda, said he was "looking forward to taking the world of musical theatre to a wider audience".

It is hoped the station will be launched in November.

The new station will be partially funded by a crowdfunding campaign, with the station's co-creators - Wise Buddah and Mothership Management - claiming it would enable fans to "have a voice in deciding what content they want to hear".

Mothership Management's Rebecca Sichel-Coates said they had already received "an overwhelming level of support".

"We feel Stage Door can become the number one place for fans to listen to music and get closer to musical theatre," she added.

Musical recognition

The announcement comes as industry newspaper The Stage revealed that the annual theatre awards, the Oliviers, will introduce an inaugural prize to recognise outstanding achievement in music at next year's ceremony.

The decision by the Society of London Theatre, which organises the awards, comes after significant pressure from key figures in musical theatre.

"The most important aspect of this award is that finally the Oliviers are respecting the fact that music and musicians play a central role in musical theatre," Mike Dixon, musical supervisor on The Bodyguard told The Stage.

"After a couple of years campaigning for some recognition for musical supervisors and musical directors I am really pleased that from next year there is an award that recognises the huge contribution to the industry that all musicians make."

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