BBC World Service gives U.Me: The Complete Musical a global premiere beginning February 21. The first installment of the musical, staged for radio and podcast, was released in 2021.
BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee Stephen Fry, who guest narrated the musical's first installment, returns to narrate. U.Me features music and lyrics by Theo Jamieson (Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Here Lies Love), and a book by Jamieson and Simon Pitts. Performers will be backed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.
Set during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.Me follows Rose and Ryo, two young strangers who meet online and fall in love. Eventually, Ryo flies from Japan to London for Rose. In the second installment, set after lockdown, their relationship has taken an unexpected turn, and Rose has to take on an intense challenge.
“After the musical’s successful reception in 2021, there was so much more to explore about how we were all getting over, or at least trying to get over, this collective pandemic trauma," Pitts said in an earlier statement. "Friends of mine were making changes as a response: some were leaving jobs or homes, some were facing up to deep personal obstacles. And I wanted to explore how our characters were changed by the period. To what extent were they adapting or succeeding in healing and remaking themselves 'post-lockdowns?' I’m immensely proud of how the project brings together some of the leading British talent in music and drama to explore the strangest shared experience of our generation.”
The music for U.Me is produced by Steve Levine. The musical has also been animated by Dan Masterton at Mighty Pie Creative Studio, and released on the BBC World Service YouTube page.
U.Me is premiering on BBC World Service, BBC Sounds, YouTube, and all podcast platforms.