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BFI Musicals!

Posted on October 22, 2019

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With perfect timing as temperatures outside drop, the BFI has revealed the programme of UK-wide events taking place as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, the UK’s biggest ever season celebrating film musicals on the big screen, which opened in October and runs until January 2020.

Highlights of the season, programmed in partnership with the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN), will include a family screening of The Wizard of Oz in Belfast Cathedral; an aquatic-themed musical in one of the last remaining grade II-listed Edwardian swimming baths in the UK; a festive screening of White Christmas in Birmingham Cathedral; expanded screenings of Singin’ in the Rain in Bristol and Liverpool; Reframing Streisand, a UK-wide film tour celebrating the star; and a tour of Russian musicals to London, Bristol and Nottingham.

The programme will celebrate the greatest stars, including Gene Kelly, Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland, and spotlight the directors and composers whose creativity was the driving force behind countless beloved musicals – from the virtuoso choreographer and director Bob Fosse to the late great composer Michel Legrand. More than 300 screenings will take place at more than 70 venues across the country, from Belfast and Cardiff to Sheffield and Glasgow, with further events being confirmed all the time on the website.

BFI Musicals! will also feature a touring programme of 12 musicals presented by the Independent Cinema Office – the tour offers cinemas and community venues far and wide the opportunity to host screenings of classic musicals as well as under-seen titles ripe for discovery, ensuring that audiences across the UK can enjoy the season. The films touring to venues will include: First a Girl, Guys and Dolls, A Star is Born, Cabaret, Yentl, Calamity Jane (singalong version), Top Hat, Carousel, Sweet Charity, Pakeezah, Cabin in the Sky and Singing Lovebirds.

In addition to the screenings and events programmed in partnership with BFI FAN and the ICO, the BFI re-releases three classic musicals in cinemas across the UK during the season – Singin’ in the Rain, Tommy and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. For full details of the programme, go to bfimusicals.co.uk.

Photographs: Courtesy of the BFI.

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, is out now as an ebook and available on Amazon, with the paperback following on August 22.

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