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THE GREAT BIG RADIO SHOW to be Made Available for Streaming Through Teatru Manoel's New Online Series

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THE GREAT BIG RADIO SHOW to be Made Available for Streaming Through Teatru Manoel's New Online Series

THE GREAT BIG RADIO SHOW - the hit comedy musical that premiered in 1993 with a sold-out run at the Watermill Newbury - will be available to UK and international audiences to rediscover, as the 2014 European premiere from Malta's Teatru Manoel (widely seen as the country's national theatre) is released as part of its Streaming Series on Saturday 25 July and Sunday 26 July only.

With music and lyrics by Philip Glassborow, book by Philip Glassborow with Nick McIvor, and arrangements and dance music by David Rhind-Tutt, The Great Big Radio Show won a special prize at the 1989 Vivian Ellis Awards - where the judges included Tim Rice, Petula Clark and Don Black - and the workshop cast included Alistair McGowan. Vivian Ellis himself declared the show "a musical to fall in love with."

Following the Awards, it was one of seven musicals selected from a field of 491 to be workshopped as part of the inaugural season of the UK Quest for New Musicals. Andrew Lloyd Webber was Patron of the Quest and Richard Stilgoe was its artistic director. The workshop culminated in two fully staged readings at Buxton Opera House in 1992, starring Paul Jones. This led to its premiere professional season at The Watermill Theatre, Newbury in 1993, featuring David Staller with Polly March, Elizabeth Counsell and many of the Buxton cast, again directed by Angela Hardcastle.

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 feel-good 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!"

In 2005, the show was featured Off-Broadway in York Theatre Company's prestigious 'Musicals in Mufti' series, starring David Staller, Nancy Anderson, Seth Rudetsky and many more Broadway stars.

The show had its European premiere in 2014 at Teatru Manoel, directed by Polly March who had featured in the Buxton Quest cast, and also at the Watermill Theatre. The international cast starred Alan Montanaro and German cabaret star Katja Brauneis.

Teatru Manoel - Malta's National Theatre - was forced to shut down in early March, in common with most European theatres, due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Built in 1731, the stunningly beautiful theatre normally presents a packed annual performance season of plays, musicals, concerts, recitals, opera, dance, the annual Valletta Baroque Festival, and a lively education programme. Since March, and ongoing over the summer, the theatre are hosting their streaming series every fortnight via their Facebook page, and include a rich mix of productions which have played at the Manoel.

NB details of the streaming will be available from Thursday 23 July via

Check out the trailer below!

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