BBC World Service have today announced ‘U.Me: The Complete Musical’, following the great success of its first instalment ‘U.Me: The Musical’ back in 2021. The original musical, staged for radio and podcast, was set during the global pandemic, and ‘U.Me: The Complete Musical’ returns with part two, set after lockdown and following main characters Rose and Ryo as they change their lives after that extraordinary experience. A Magnum Opus production for the BBC, ‘U.Me: The Complete Musical’ will premiere globally on 21 February 2024 on BBC World Service, BBC Sounds, YouTube and all podcast providers.
The one and only Stephen Fry will be returning as special guest narrator for the musical, as will the hugely talented team behind U.Me. The new original soundtrack will be performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the music and lyrics have been written by Theo Jamieson (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Here Lies Love), and the music has been produced by music producer Steve Levine, who has worked with the likes of Culture Club, The Beach Boys, The Clash and many more. The musical will also be animated by Dan Masterton at Mighty Pie Creative Studio – the stylized animation will be available to watch on the BBC World Service YouTube page.
‘U.Me: The Complete Musical’ tells the story of Rose and Ryo, two young strangers who meet online and fall in love during the pandemic, resulting in Ryo flying across the world from Japan to London for Rose. In Part Two, we meet Rose and Ryo again – the relationship takes an unexpected turn and Rose has to take on the deepest challenge of her life.
‘U.Me: The Musical – Part 1’ was about the strange experience of life and love in lockdown, and Part 2 is about how that experience of lockdowns has affected the characters. Rose and Ryo’s story touches on the joy and vulnerability of physical connection, forgiveness, and self-care.
Simon Pitts, Co-Creator, says: “After the musical’s successful reception in 2021, there was so much more to explore about how we were all getting over, or at least trying to get over, this collective pandemic trauma. Friends of mine were making changes as a response: some were leaving jobs or homes, some were facing up to deep personal obstacles. And I wanted to explore how our characters were changed by the period. To what extent were they adapting or succeeding in healing and remaking themselves “post-lockdowns”? I’m immensely proud of how the project brings together some of the leading British talent in music and drama to explore the strangest shared experience of our generation.”
Producer Steve Levine says, “Producing U.Me Part 1 was a mammoth task, especially given that it was recorded and mixed entirely during the Covid 19 lockdown. Thankfully it was really well received. Accolades included multiple awards at the New York Radio Festival ceremony, including the coveted ‘Grand Award’. This time we were able to record the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra as a complete ensemble in the BBC’s own Salford Recording studios. Sonically we have moved forward once again and with a storyline that reflects the real life journey that many of us have all been on since Part 1 debuted.”
‘U.Me: The Complete Musical’ will launch on 21 February 2024 on BBC World Service, BBC Sounds, YouTube and podcast providers.