Hadley Fraser to feature in Radio 2 tribute concert to top musicals

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West End star Hadley Fraser will perform alongside 30 students from the Royal Academy of Music as part of a BBC concert celebrating shows that have transformed musical theatre.

The Shock of the New will be part of BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night strand and will include music from productions such as Les Miserables, Rent and Parade.

Producer Anthony Cherry said the concert, which will be broadcast on April 5, will “chart the history of musical theatre” by paying tribute to “landmark musicals”. The concert will begin with Show Boat and move on to look at shows such as Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady and West Side Story.

“We wanted to do a concert that showed the impact individual shows can have,” Cherry said. “All the musicals we’re featuring were revolutionary in their day. From Jerome Kern to Jason Robert Brown, via the likes of Sondheim, Lerner and Loewe, Kander and Ebb, Boublil and Schonberg, Jonathan Larson and so on. It’s quite a journey.”

Fraser is best known for appearing in Les Miserables in the West End. His other stage credits include The Far Pavilions and the 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall.

The show will also feature Shaun Escoffery and a choir made up of 30 students from the Royal Academy’s musical theatre course.

The music will be played by the BBC Concert Orchestra. Ken Bruce will present the show.