Sky Arts have announced a line-up of musicals to be broadcast over the Christmas period.
The freeview channel, set up in September in response to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting access to theatres, gives a chance for people stuck at home to see various art content, including theatre. For Christmas this year, they have provided the public with four iconic musicals.
The schedule for this Christmas looks like this:
The Phantom of the Opera
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera is set to air on Christmas Eve at 9 pm. The well-known story follows a young soprano caught in an unconventional relationship with a mysterious masked figure who gives her singing lessons. The version airing will be the Royal Albert Hall production, starring Sierra Boggess as Christine, and Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom.
With swelling orchestrations and grandiose spectacle, this show will make you want to dust off your best violin cases and play the score.
The nation’s favourite musical, Les Miserables, is set to air on Boxing Day at 6.05 pm. The version that will be airing is the 25th-anniversary concert production.
This classic musical based on Victor Hugo’s book found its home in the West End – where it has stayed longer than any other musical. If it weren’t for the pandemic this year, it would be playing its thirty-second year in the prestigious West End.
With iconic songs like ‘Bring Him Home’ and ‘I Dreamed a Dream,’ you’ll be ready to join the barricade on Boxing Day, hearing the people sing.
From the same team that brought us Les Miserables, Miss Saigon tells the tragic tale of a woman caught in the middle of the Vietnam War. Airing just after Les Miserables at 9 pm on Boxing Day; it will be a strong day for theatre.
Though the iconic helicopter scene may be less impressive on a small screen than in the elegant theatre, having easy access to ‘The Movie in my Mind’ is sure to blow you away (and depress you) the day after Christmas.
Billy Elliot the Musical
This loveable family favourite is set to air on Sky Arts at 9 pm, Wednesday 30th December. A great way to see out a difficult year, Billy Elliot has plenty of upbeat, fun songs composed by the legendary Elton John, paired with gut-wrenching heartbreak as the mining crisis and grief over lost parents are discussed.
In the end, Billy Elliot is the story of a community coming together, which feels fitting to see out this year of COVID.
Theatre at Christmas
Sky Arts are also going to be showing two National Theatre shows – Jane Eyre and Twelfth Night.
A bit of theatre at Christmas is what we all need – reminders of the strength of spirit from Miss Saigon, close-knit communities in Billy Elliot and doing your bit to help the wider society from Les Miserables. Oh, and that important Christmas message from The Phantom of the Opera – beware falling chandeliers.