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we begin again

Our participants are part of an amazing mini-musical with the National Theatre and the Guardian

Lots of faces of people singing on zoom - darts participants join National Theatre and Guardian singing project

‘We Begin Again’ is a special online musical to mark the end of 2020

Written by Olivier award winner James Graham, and in collaboration with the National Theatre, this short musical film is a unifying song for the country to take stock of the extraordinary year gone by and reset for the year ahead. A multi-generational cast reflects on their individual lives and the impact 2020 has had on them, while a supporting ​company of 100 community members from the National Theatre’s Public Acts programme in Doncaster and London, sing a hopeful chorus encouraging everyone to ‘begin again’.  Filmed both on location and remotely, this online musical is a clear product of these unique times.

The musical video and a standalone track (released via the label, Broadway Records) launched on Thursday 17th December 2020 on both the Guardian and National Theatre’s digital networks. This is the Guardian’s first co-produced musical and an example of the innovative ways a news website and an arts organisation can interpret the year gone by and bring the performing arts to a global audience during a time when many theatres have been forced to close or reduce their audience intake.

Here’s an article about the process of making the musical: James Graham on his uplifting 2020 musical: ‘We want to look forward’ | Stage | The Guardian

Professional cast:

Grandmother – Anita Dobson (best known as Angie from ‘Eastenders’)

Dad – Zubin Varla (best known as Judas from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’)

Mother – Susan Wokoma (best known as Synthia from Michaela Coel’s ‘Chewing Gum’)

Teenager – Noah Thomas (best known as Jamie in ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’)

Key creatives:

Composer: Jim Fortune (from the NT’s award winning show Pericles)

Director: Amy Hodge (who directed the Guardian’s two latest drama series: Brexit Shorts and Europeans, as well as the NT’s Olivier award nominated musical ‘Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear’)

Music Producer: Julian Simmons

Music Director: Tarek Merchant

For the Guardian:

Camera and Editor: Noah Payne-Frank

Producer and Commissioner: Jess Gormley

For the National Theatre’s Public Acts:

Community Partners: B:friend, Conversation Club, Edlington Community Organisation (ECO), Creative Directions , Cast Young Company, Right Up Our Street, Bromley by Bow Centre, Body & Soul, Coram, DABD, Havering Asian Social Welfare Association (HASWA), Open Age, Thames Reach, The Faith & Belief Forum

Cameo Choirs: Quirky Choir (darts, Doncaster), Faithworks Gospel Choir (London)

Director: Emily Lim

Producer: Lara Taylor

Creative Director of Music for the NT: Marc Tritschler

Co-ordinator: Brigitte Adela

Community Producer Doncaster: Nicola Doyle

Theatre Partner: Cast

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