BFI Southbank welcome special guests for BFI MUSICALS! THE GREATEST SHOW ON SCREEN


Press Release > BFI

Edited by: Chris Olson



The UK’s greatest ever season celebrating the film musical, BFI MUSICALS! THE GREATEST SHOW ON SCREEN continues at venues across the country until the end of January 2020, and the BFI today updates on special guests who will take part in events during November and December at BFI Southbank.


IMELDA STAUNTON (Theatre: Gypsy, Follies, Sweeney Todd, The Wizard of Oz)


On Saturday 14 December, actor Imelda Staunton will introduce WEST SIDE STORY (Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins, 1961). The Oscar-winning sensation features music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by the great musical theatre composer Stephen Sondheim; Staunton, who has frequently performed work by Sondheim on stage (including leading roles in Gypsy, Into the Woods and Sweeny Todd), will speak about her continued association with Sondheim and her love for the film as part of BFI Southbank’s ongoing Screen Epiphanies series.


JAMAEL WESTMAN (Theatre: Hamilton)


On Monday 18 November one of the brightest young stars of the West End, Jamael Westman – who is currently starring as the eponymous Hamilton in the smash-hit musical – will introduce a screening of Spike Lee’s musical-comedy SCHOOL DAZE (1988), based on Lee’s own experiences at a leading (historically) black college in Atlanta.


TOMMY STEELE (Film: Half a Sixpence, Finian’s Rainbow)


Iconic entertainer and musicals star Tommy Steele joins us onstage for a whirlwind tour of the genre on Sunday 1 December. This afternoon of memories, clips and stories behind some of his favourite musical films, will range from the early days of sound through to the golden age of the lavish Hollywood musical. It will be an entertaining, toe-tapping journey that will encompass the work of Busby Berkeley, Eleanor Powell and perhaps even a reminiscence from Steele about his own role in genre.


PATRICIA WARD KELLY (Wife and biographer of Hollywood legend Gene Kelly)


Following on from her sell-out event Gene Kelly: The Legacy – An Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly in October, Gene Kelly’s wife and biographer Patricia Ward Kelly, returns to BFI Southbank in December. Patricia will introduce a screening of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (Vincente Minnelli, 1951) on Friday 13 December, offering audiences an insight into the making of this MGM classic.


CLARKE PETERS (Theatre: Five Guys Named Moe (writer), Guys and Dolls, (actor), TV: The Wire)


On Sunday 24 November iconic musical SWEET CHARITY (Bob Fosse, 1969) will screen in a brand new 4K restoration. The screening will be introduced by actor Clarke Peters, currently appearing in His Dark Materials and probably best-known for his role as Lester Freamon in The Wire. Possibly unknown to some audiences is the fact that Clarke has worked in musical theatre for decades, including starring as Sky Masterson in Guy and Dolls at the National Theatre, and writing award-winning musical Five Guys Named Moe.


KERRY ELLIS (Theatre: Wicked, We Will Rock You)


On Wednesday 4 December BFI Southbank will welcome West End star Kerry Ellis to introduce a screening of family favourite THE WIZARD OF OZ (Victor Fleming, 1939). Given Kerry’s long-standing role as Elphaba in the West End smash Wicked when the show first opened, audiences will be treated to a unique perspective on THE WIZARD OF OZ, at this special screening in the run-up to Christmas.


BFI MUSICALS THE GREATEST SHOW ON SCREEN will be in cinemas and venues across the UK from October 2019 to January 2020 and will celebrate the joyful, emotional, shared experience of watching film musicals; with the biggest stars, the most iconic scenes and the best-loved song and dance numbers on the big screen where they belong.


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