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It's A Musical World!

Tom Service surveys the current landscape in the world of musical theatre. Guests include Sir Tim Rice, Michael Ball, Gwyneth Herbert, Francess Ruffelle, Isy Suttie, Adam Cork and Rufus Norris.

First broadcast in December 2013.

Available now

45 minutes

It's A Musical World

In a special edition of Music Matters Tom Service surveys the world of musical theatre – tracing how the form has evolved, and asking whether we’re supporting the next generation of 'musical makers' in an age of jukebox musicals based on the back catalogues of bands we all know and love – The Beatles, Queen, Abba?

Bert Fink, Senior Vice President of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organisation and musical theatre historian explains how the form progressed from operetta and musical comedy to the spectaculars of the 1970s and 80s.

Tom talks to lyricist Sir Tim Rice, whose partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber yielded some of the biggest musical hits of all time including Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita.  He tells Tom why his latest show From Here To Eternity has struggled to find an audience. Olivier Award-winning musical star Michael Ball discusses some of his career highs and lows and reflects on the joy of being cast against type in Hairspray and Sweeney Todd; and the composer/lyricist duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who have penned the score for the West End’s latest blockbuster Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, discuss why Broadway came late for them.

Tom meets Gwyneth Herbert, composer and lyricist of a brand new musical - The A-Z of Mrs P – the story of the woman who invented the A-Z and talks to cast members Frances Rufelle and Isy Suttie as well as the show’s producer Neil Marcus who is executive director of Mercury Musical Developments - an initiative nurturing new musical theatre writing.

One of the biggest recent successes in British musical theatre came from the subsidised sector – and Tom meets the newly-appointed Director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris and composer Adam Cork to discuss why their musical London Road, which ran at The National Theatre in 2011 and controversially took the spate of murders in Ipswich between 2006 and 2008 as its subject matter, became such a surprise hit – and is now being turned into a film.
Finally, Tom assesses what the future for musical theatre might be with critic Mark Shenton, musical director Gareth Valentine and Andy Barnes, Executive Producer of Perfect Pitch Musicals.


Role Contributor
Presenter Tom Service
Interviewed Guest Tim Rice
Interviewed Guest Michael Ball
Interviewed Guest Marc Shaiman
Interviewed Guest Scott Wittman
Interviewed Guest Gwyneth Herbert
Interviewed Guest Frances Ruffelle
Interviewed Guest Isy Suttie
Interviewed Guest Neil Marcus
Interviewed Guest Rufus Norris
Interviewed Guest Adam Cork
Interviewed Guest Mark Shenton
Interviewed Guest Gareth Valentine
Interviewed Guest Andy Barnes
Interviewed Guest Bert Fink


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