The West End traditionally likes to get involved with the BBC Children in Need appeal show, and is well represented this year with performances by some of the biggest musicals of 2015.
Broadcast live on BBC One on Friday 13th November 2015, this year’s Children in Need has a glittering line-up that includes musical performances from the West End casts of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Kinky Boots and Bend It Like Beckham.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is based on the life and career of American singer/song-writer Carole King. It is the untold story of her journey from school girl to superstar; from her relationship with husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, their close friendship and playful rivalry with fellow song-writing duo Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, to her remarkable rise to stardom. The Olivier Award-winning musical features a book by Douglas McGrath and is directed by Marc Bruni, and includes such classic hit songs as ‘So Far Away’, ‘It Might As Well Rain until September’, ‘Take Good Care of my Baby’, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, ‘Up on the Roof’, ‘Locomotion’, ‘One Fine Day’, ‘You’ve Got a Friend’, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ and ‘I Feel the Earth Move’. The West End production opened at the Aldwych Theatre on 24th February 2015 (previews from 10th February) and currently stars Katie Brayburn in the title role opposite Alan Morrissey as Gerry Goffin, Lorna Want as Cynthia Weil, Ian McIntosh as Barry Mann.
Kinky Boots is the hit Broadway show by Harvey Fierstein (Book) and Cyndi Lauper (Music & Lyrics), based on the 2005 film of the same name. Inspired by a true-life events it tells the story of Charlie Price, who is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son. With the shoe factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots made its West End premiere at the Adelphi Theatre on 15th September 2015 (previews from 21st August) to great critical acclaim, with Killian Donnelly and Matt Henry leading the London company in the respective roles of Charlie and Lola.
Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical is the new British musical adapted from the hit film of the same name. It features a book by Paul Mayeda Berges and director of the original film Gurinder Chadha, who also directs the stage production, and includes original music by Howard Goodall and lyrics by Charles Hart. It tells the story of Jess, who is facing the most important decision of her life: live up to family expectations of university, career and marriage, or follow in the footsteps of her hero David Beckham. When the talented teenager is spotted playing football in Southall, a world of unexpected opportunities opens up before her. But as her sister’s traditional Indian wedding approaches, can she keep her family happy and still follow her dreams? The show made its world premiere at the Phoenix Theatre on 24th June 2015 (previews from 15th May) and stars Natalie Dew as Jess, alongside Lauren Samuels as Jules, Jamie Campbell-Bower as Joe, Sophie Louise-Dann as Paula and Jamal Andreas as Tony.
The Rocky Horror Show is also set to get involved with Children in Need, as The One Show hosts Matt Baker and Alex Jones take a jump to the left (and then a step to the right) to perform the starring roles in Richard O’Brien’s classic musical.
BBC Children in Need 2015 is once again hosted by Sir Terry Wogan, who will be joined throughout the night by an assortment of guest hosts that includes Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton, Rochelle Humes and Nick Grimshaw. Other highlights of the night’s programme will include Sir Bruce Forsyth’s return to Strictly Come Dancing, comedian and writer of I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical Harry Hill, a performance form the cast of EastEnders, and musical performances from such names as Ellie Goulding, Rod Stewart, Selena Gomez, and the UK TV premiere of the duet by Westlife’s’ Shane Filan and Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle, ‘I Could Be’.
BBC Children in Need has been an annual event stretching across 35 years, and has helped to raise millions of pounds for disadvantaged children and young people around the UK. Sir Terry Wogan, BBC Children in Need Life President, said:
“It was my privilege to present the very first BBC Children in Need in 1980 and it remains a privilege and a pleasure to reflect the extraordinary generosity of the British public. For that’s what BBC Children in Need has truly become: the People’s Charity. Their pounds, shillings and pence, given so generously, have amounted to an extraordinary total so far of £790 million! You can imagine the difference that has made to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK. The past couple of years have produced record-breaking totals on the big night, and it’s fingers crossed for another magnificent response from the British public. Tess, Fearne, Nick, Rochelle and I are looking forward to a mind-blowing evening of great entertainment on behalf of a great charity.”
BBC Children in Need 2015 will be broadcast live on BBC on Friday 13th November 2015, from 7.30pm onwards. A timetable of the night’s line-up will be announced nearer the time.