The BBC has announced that the opening track from U.Me: The Musical entitled Everything Stops has made its audio premiere via the musical’s webpage. The track performed by Anoushka Lucas will also make its debut on streaming platforms from Friday 23 April. West-End stars are also adding their own voices from lockdown and joining the cast as special guest backing vocalists.
Ahead of the premiere of U.Me:The Musical, which takes place on 12 May at 8pm on BBC World Service, listeners are being given the chance to hear the scene-setting, funk-driven show opener with music and lyrics by Theo Jamieson, produced by Steve Levine and sung by Anoushka Lucas who plays co-lead character Rose. Echoing thoughts and feelings felt worldwide, the track explores the initial discovery of working via video conferencing, those snapshots of colleague’s homes, the faces of people never met before and the ache to return to life and love. Everything Stops is the perfect introduction to ‘U’Me: The Musical’, a mega-musical with big emotions set to an explosive multi-genre score – described as Normal People meets Taylor Swift feat. The Weeknd and staged on Broadway.
As well as Anoushka Lucas the cast also features co-lead Martin Sarreal as Ryo, Nicole Deon playing the role of Alyssa and Kevin Shen playing the role of Kenji and a very special guest appearance from Stephen Fry as the narrator. For this exhilarating new musical the cast will also be joined by an array of West-End stars, during lockdown, adding to the backing vocals of the musical. They include: Soophia Foroughi – Prince of Egypt, Tyrone Huntley – Jesus Christ Superstar, Sejal Keshwala –Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Evie Rose Lane –Footloose and Jamie Muscato – Heathers. The cast is completed by students from the Paul McCartney-founded Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA.)
Bringing together an incredible team, U.Me: The Musical is a regional UK production for UK and international audiences on BBC World Service and will feature words and music by Theo Jamieson (previously music director for ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ and ‘Here Lies Love’), music production by Liverpool-based Steve Levine (famed for his work with Culture Club, The Clash and The Beach Boys) and casting by Will Burton (Casting Director for the likes of ‘Matilda’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’). The book is written by Simon Pitts and Theo Jamieson and the musical is created by Simon Pitts, BBC World Service.
A cultural response to a unique global collective experience, the musical will not only offer the upsides of a good musical for listeners: hope, joy and consolation, but will also employ and support British creatives: singers, musicians, mix engineers, orchestrators and so on in a sector with reduced opportunities for work. The musical will feature contemporary musicians as well as the BBC Philharmonic with over 60 musicians across the North West of England, all recording their parts remotely due to the pandemic restrictions, to be mixed by Steve Levine in his Liverpool studio.
The musical is a broadcast hour and will have its World Premiere at 8pm BST on 12 May 2021 on BBC World Service and will be chapterised for podcast on BBC Sounds.