BBC World Service today announced the cast for the global premiere of ‘U.Me: The Complete Musical’ to be launched on 21 February 2024. Stephen Fry will be the very special guest narrator, and the fantastic Anoushka Lucas and Martin Sarreal will be returning as main roles Rose and Ryo. Cat Simmons and Kamilla Fernandes will be joining the cast as Anya and Jade, Rose’s mum and sister.
‘U.Me: The Complete Musical’ tells the story of Rose and Ryo, two young strangers who meet online and fall in love during the pandemic, resulting in Ryo flying across the world from Japan to London for Rose. In Part Two, we meet Rose and Ryo again – the relationship takes an unexpected turn and Rose has to take on the deepest challenge of her life.
Olivier-nominated West End star Anoushka Lucas, who plays Rose, is a singer, songwriter, composer and actor who was raised in London and has starred in the likes of ‘Oklahoma!’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. Martin Sarreal, who plays Ryo, has been seen in the likes of ‘Tammy Faye’ and ‘Luther: The Fallen Sun’ and will be in the upcoming third series of Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’.
Elsewhere on the cast are Cat Simmons (playing Anya, Rose’s mum), who has performed in ‘Fame!’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Killing Eve’ and many more. Newly graduated Kamilla Fernandes, who has already performed in Grease, Groundhog Day and Sunset Boulevard, will be joining the cast as Jade, Rose’s sister.
Anoushka Lucas, who plays Rose, says, “Playing Rose made me think about how we all talk about wanting to make space for people who are struggling mentally or emotionally, but the reality of this can be so much messier and more uncomfortable than we expect. I feel so pleased to be part of a piece of work that explores that humanely. There’s a real franticness to Rose’s mental state across the piece, and this piece explores the effect this has on her and on her loved ones with such sensitivity and skill. Besides all of this, the score is bold and beautiful and fun and tender, and it was a real joy to sing.”
Co-creator Theo Jamieson says, “The Pandemic soft-ended, and people started going back to work and re-entering something that appeared close to their normal lives – but I knew many people who were feeling what I was: that the perspective on our lives had completely shifted. At the same time, this gave me the opportunity to examine and consider elements of my life that had not been making me happy, but which I had passed over, and I think a lot of people were going through that process. That has been a painful period, but an important one, and Rose’s emotions and consequent reactions in this situation are central to Part Two of the musical.”
U.Me: The Complete Musical’ boasts a new original soundtrack, which is performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The Book is by Simon Pitts and Theo Jamieson, music and lyrics have been written by Theo Jamieson (The Famous Five, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) and the music has been produced by music producer Steve Levine, who has worked with the likes of Culture Club, The Beach Boys, The Clash and many more. The film is a stylized character animation produced and directed by Dan Masterton at Mighty Pie Creative Studio. The Showrunner is Simon Pitts.
‘U.Me: The Complete Musical’ will launch on 21 February 2024 on BBC World Service, BBC Sounds, YouTube and podcast providers.