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Imelda Staunton and Kerry Ellis to appear in BFI musicals season

Imelda Staunton and Kerry Ellis are among the confirmed guests. Photo: Helga Esteb
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Imelda Staunton, Kerry Ellis and Clarke Peters are among the confirmed guests for a series of live Q&A events held as part of a major BFI season celebrating musicals.

The full line-up for the three-month season has now been announced, featuring special releases of movie musicals and a series of events at the BFI’s Southbank home. These include singalong screenings, immersive events and quiz nights, as well as a pop-up piano musicals bar.

Confirmed appearances include Staunton, Peters and Ellis, in addition to Patricia Ward Kelly – Gene Kelly’s wife and biographer – and Rock Follies writer Howard Schuman.

The season runs from October until January 2020 and will celebrate iconic movie musicals and stars, with events held in London and across the UK.

Singalong screenings include The Sound of Music, La La Land, Grease, West Side Story, Calamity Jane, Oliver! and The Little Mermaid.

The Greatest Showman will receive a one-off screening at the BFI Imax, and BFI Southbank will host family friendly showings of Mary Poppins, Bugsy Malone, Aladdin, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Muppet Christmas Carol.

1954’s Brigadoon will receive an immersive screening in October in Edinburgh, while Singin’ in the Rain will be rereleased. The BFI is also working with the ADHD Foundation to present a relaxed screening of Singin’ in the Rain for neurodiverse audiences.

The programme includes hundreds of screenings nationwide celebrating musical stars such as Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Bob Fosse and Michel Legrand.

Robin Baker, head curator for the BFI national archive and the BFI Musicals programmer, said: “Welcome to the new golden age of the movie musical. Audiences flock to musicals in troubled times – from Busby Berkeley’s spectacular routines during the Depression to the masterpieces of MGM’s Freed Unit during WW2 – so it’s no surprise that the big screen musical is currently enjoying a major revival.

“We’re delighted to be bringing both classic musicals and rarities to cinemas across the UK in Britain’s biggest ever celebration of the musical.”

BFI announces plans for major season of movie musicals

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