It's Christmas which means the TV is as stuffed as the turkey when it comes to things to watch. For a year that saw the rise of the movie musical, it feels fitting that the TV schedules are full of musicals to enjoy at home.
With so many shows having to cancel performances, you can still get your stagey fix with some fantastic titles being shown over the next week. Here are some of the best you can catch:
BALL & BOE: BACK TOGETHER AT CHRISTMAS
December 24th, 6pm, Channel 5
They have just completed their Christmas arena tour around the UK, but you can now catch their previous tour on TV for the first time. Filmed at the o2 in March 2020, a week before everything shut down, catch a setlist that includes songs from Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, Hamilton and Sweeney Todd.
LES MISERABLES - THE STAGED CONCERT
December 24th, 7.30pm, Sky Arts
The 2019 all star concert version of Les Miserables featuring Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Matt Lucas, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Rob Houchen and Shan Ako gets a repeat airing on Sky Arts. If you need a good cry this Christmas, this is the one for you.
December 26th, 6.40pm, BBC2
In my opinion THE greatest show of the year. If you missed Anything Goes at its record breaking Barbican run this year, see what all the fuss is about as Sutton Foster leads a cast also including Robert Lindsay, Gary Wilmot and Felicity Kendal. Watch out for a star turn from Carly Mercedes Dyer and prepare to grin more than you have all year.
ALL STAR MUSICALS AT CHRISTMAS
December 26th, 8pm, ITV1
All Star Musicals is back for not one but two festive specials this Christmas. The first of which sees Fern Britton, Ben Miller, Gyles Brandreth, Anita Rani, Catherine Tyldesley and Radzi Chinyanganya try their hand at musical theatre. With judges Elaine Paige, Samantha Barks and Trevor Dion Nicholas plus a performance from the cast of Dear Evan Hansen, this looks like a must-see for musical fans.
SONDHEIM'S EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
December 27th, 7pm, BBC FOUR
Another chance to see the concert from BBC Proms in 2010 celebrating the legendary Stephen Sondheim who sadly passed away recently. Featuring performances from Bryn Terfel, Maria Friedman, Simon Russell Beale and Julian Ovenden accompanied by the BBC Concert orchestra.
BBC Four continue a Stephen Sondheim themed evening on the 27th with:
SONDHEIM AT THE BBC. 9pm
Featuring archive footage of performances of his songs by some of the world's biggest stars, taken from BBC shows over the past 60 years. The programme includes clips of Shirley Bassey, Sammy Davis Jr, Michael Ball and Liza Minnelli.
OMNIBUS: SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH STEPHEN. 10.35pm
Documentary originally broadcast in 1990, following Stephen Sondheim during his spell as visiting professor of drama at Oxford University. Cameras capture the composer taking students through the creative process of writing a musical.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL
December 27th, 4.15pm. Sky Arts
The 2011 performance to celebrate 25 years of Andrew Lloyd Webbers classic stars Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess. It also features a special encore featuring some of the shows most iconic former cast members.
CAMERON MACKINTOSH - THE FIRST 50 YEARS
December 27th, 7pm, Sky Arts
This new documentary features Cameron's life as producer told through his own eyes as well as those of his friends and colleagues including Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim, who filmed his contribution just 10 days before his passing.
MISS SAIGON - 25TH ANNIVERSARY PERFORMANCE
December 27th, 10pm. Sky Arts
Filmed at the Prince Edward Theatre in 2016, Eva Noblezada and Alistair Brammer star in a 25th anniversary gala performance of the classic musical. Beautiful and moving, if you've never seen it before, give it a watch. One of the best filmed productions of any musical in my opinion.
KIPPS - THE NEW HALF A SIXPENCE MUSICAL
December 29th, 6.30pm. Sky Arts
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. The filmed production of Half A Sixpence from 2017 at London's Noel Coward Theatre is finally being shown online. Now with the new name Kipps, Charlie Stemp leads an incredible cast in this joyous musical that should become a firm favourite now it is finally being released to the public.
December 30th, 9pm. BBC2
The 2019 movie starring Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland feels fitting to play at Christmas given how many people religiously watch The Wizard of Oz each festive season. Set in the late 1960s as Judy attempts to revive her waning career by accepting an offer to perform a series of musical revues in London.
December 30th, 11pm. Sky Arts
Gemma Arterton stars in the debut play from Amy Berryman. Filmed at the the Harold Pinter Theatre earlier this year, it explores fractured love and the tragedy of loss through the challenges of an on-going climate emergency.
MUSICALS: THE GREATEST SHOW
December 31st, 5.35pm. BBC2
Another chance to see this massive celebration of musicals, first shown earlier this year when theatres were all closed. Hosted by Sheridan Smith, it features performances from Hamilton, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Mamma Mia! and many more.
January 1st, 1pm. Sky Arts
Kick off 2022 with Andrew Lloyd Webber's unique musical. Thankfully this isn't the recent movie abomination, instead watch Elaine Paige purr in this filmed production from 1997.
There are also some fantastic shows streaming online including: John & Jen starring Rachel Tucker and Lewis Cormay, streaming on broadwayhd.com
A variety of concerts, musicals and shows on https://www.stream.theatre/home
Hamilton and a new animated musical from Lin Manuel Miranda - Encanto on Disney+
Everybody's Talking About Jamie on Amazon.
Come From Away on Apple TV+
Plenty to keep us going over the next couple of weeks.
Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Look out next week for a huge preview of all the best theatre to look out for next year!