The new musical commissioned by the BBC is set to be broadcast 12th May 2021 at 8pm on BBC World Service.
It has been announced that the actor Stephen Fry will be the special guest narrator along with two young lead actors Anoushka Lucas and Martin Sarreal and a wider cast including students from Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) in this new musical. The cast is also set to include Nicole Deon and Kevin Shen as Alyssa and Kenji.
U.me: The Musical is an international love story, especially created for radio and podcast, based around two young people on opposite sides of the world who meet online and make a true connection. It features words and music by Theo Jamieson, who was previously music director for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Here Lies Love, with music production by Liverpool based Steve Levine famed for his work with Culture Club, The Clash and The Beach Boys. Meanwhile, the musical will also feature a book written by Simon Pitts and Theo Jamieson and commissioned by Simon Pitts, BBC World Service.
Talking about the news Stephen Fry said: “Many of our story tellers were cut off from income streams during the pandemic, but leaving themselves vulnerable in every way is something they’re used to. Many have continued to create, unpaid and in isolation, documenting these extraordinary times so that we and those that come after would be able to understand this moment in a way that is truthful, universal and profound.”
The music is set to be performed by contemporary musicians as well as the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra with over 60 musicians across the UK, all recording their parts remotely to be mixed by Steve Levine in his Liverpool studio.
Having moved to London to start a new job just as everything in her world stops, Rose meets Ryo across a crowded video conference at work. He’s a Japanese-American living in Kyoto experiencing a quarter-life crisis and is starting out again. Alone and together during the lockdowns they make sense of it all between them and find hope and joy amidst everything.
The musical is a broadcast hour and will have its World Premiere at 8pm BST on 12th May 2021 on BBC World Service and will be chapterised for podcast on BBC Sounds with Chapter 1 available on 10th May 2021.