Online musical showing impact of the pandemic

A new online musical featuring stars of the stage and screen is sending out the message for people to begin again after the impact of the pandemic.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 12:28 pm

Launched on The Guardian and the National Theatre’s digital platforms as a musical

video and a standalone track released by Grammy winning record label Broadway Records, “We Begin Again” is a unifying song for the country to take stock of the extraordinary year gone by and reset for the year ahead.

Written by Olivier award winner James Grahamiz, We Begin Again features a multigenerational cast reflecting on their individual lives and the impact 2020 has had on them.

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Anita Dobson in We Begin Again produced by The Guardian in partnership with National Theatre

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One hundred community members from the National Theatre’s Public Acts programme sing a hopeful chorus encouraging everyone to ‘begin again’. Filmed both on location in South Yorkshire and remotely, this online musical is described as a clear product of these unique times.

A spokesman said: “This is the first time the National Theatre has collaborated with The Guardian to create a musical and an example of the innovative ways a news website, an arts organisation and a record label, 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.”

Stars of stage and screen, including Eastenders’ Anita Dobson, are joined by members of the NT’s Public Acts community partner organisations in Doncaster in partnership with Cast along with darts and Right Up Our Street.

A member of the NT Public Acts company in We Begin Again

Director Emily Lim said: “It has been such an exciting, new experience creating this piece with our amazing Public Acts company. It is​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ the first time we've ever made a film, and the first time our community members in Doncaster and London have united to collaborate together, cross-countr. It has felt so important to stay creative and connected with one another at this time, despite all the restrictions, and we can't wait to share this message of renewal and hope with everyone at the end of such a difficult year.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.