Classic Brit Awards to include musical theatre from 2012

Musicals will be honoured at the Classic Brit Awards for the first time from next year, as the show’s producer tries to broaden the appeal of the awards ceremony.

Formerly known as the Classical Brit Awards, the event – organised by the British Phonographic Industry – was renamed the Classic Brit Awards this year.

Initially formed in 2000 to recognise the achievements of classical musicians and the growth of classical music sales in the UK, the BPI is now looking at introducing a musical theatre category, in a bid to attract a bigger audience to the ITV1 show.

To pave the way for the new category, this year’s ceremony – taking place today (Thursday) at the Royal Albert Hall and hosted by Myleene Klass – will feature a performance from the cast of Les Miserables.

Maggie Crowe, event director at Brit Awards Ltd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BPI, said: “The Classic Brits is delighted that the cast of Les Miserables with Alfie Boe will be performing at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday. Within the evolution of the format for the show and the suitability of award categories, we have given serious consideration to making musical theatre a category in its own right. The celebration of music that this show encompasses makes the inclusion of musical theatre a natural fit.”

This year’s awards will see film composer John Barry posthumously honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Music award. The show will be broadcast on May 29 on ITV1.

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster