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Jae joins a special BBC Sounds programme, The Showstopper

40 years ago the HIV virus, and the resulting disease Aids, were named. It devastated people’s lives all over the world, and brought immeasurable heartbreak to the theatre community of Broadway and the West End.

Theatre, however, became a voice of awareness, rebelling against the stigma and the destructive advertisements at the time. There were plays, one-man performances and musicals highlighting the disease and its effects on people, spreading messages of hope and support and helping to quash hurtful and misleading information.

In this programme, actor Jonathan Bailey, who performed as a child in Les Misérables in the West End at the time, tells the story of HIV/AIDS impact on the theatre community, and tells how this community supported those affected. This documentary includes powerful stories from those at the heart of the theatre community at the time, including producers Cameron Mackintosh and Nick Allott, lyricist Tim Rice and musical director Jae Alexander, alongside performers such as actor and activist Jill Nalder (Les Misérables, Oliver!), Claire Moore (Phantom of the Opera), Craig Revel Horwood, Stifyn Parri (Les Misérables, Brookside) and Make a Difference charity’s Melanie Tranter.

A Telesgop production.

Available for 29 days from 19 March 2023


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