The Great Big Radio Show online
19 July 2020
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti
There's a rare chance to see musical comedy The Great Big Radio Show next weekend when Malta's Teatru Manoel streams its 2014 production.
The show has music and lyrics by Philip Glassborow, a book by Philip Glassborow with Nick McIvor, and arrangements and dance music by David Rhind-Tutt.
Glassborow’s other credits include Welcome To Terezin, Star Of Strait Street with Cyril Ornadel, A Kid For Two Farthings and with David Rhind-Tutt Peter Pan. Radio pieces The Gorey Details, Beatrix Potter’s Favourite Tale and Who The Wild Things Are have all been heard on the BBC.
The Great Big Radio Show, which won a special prize at the 1989 Vivian Ellis Awards, was workshopped as part of the inaugural season of the UK Quest for New Musicals and subsequently premièred in 1993 at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury.
The Teatru Manoel production is directed by Polly March who had played in the show at the Watermill Theatre. It has an international cast including Alan Montanaro and German cabaret star Katja Brauneis.
Philip Glassborow said, “I’m thrilled that UK audiences will get a chance to rediscover this happy show. It was a big hit at the Watermill and we enjoyed wonderful reviews and lots of attention. The show was poised to transfer to the West End. The legendary producer Harold Fielding had the rights, but sadly he was quite ill and didn't do anything and yet kept renewing the option so that no-one else could do it... and the momentum was lost.
"Luckily, it's a timeless show—backstage musical comedy set in the 1930s with a feelgood love story, catchy swing music, lots of tap dancing and a bit like Singing In The Rain... so hopefully it will be staged again sometime in the future, whenever life starts up again!”
The Great Big Radio Show will be streamed 25 to 26 July; details will be posted on Facebook at the end of the week.