The Monday Play, Tmusical

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The third programme in a special season of documentaries celebrating the most popular and successful form of theatrical entertainment in the world: The Musical.

There are eight documentaries, each presented by a leading name from the world of musical theatre.

Programme Three: Breaking The Mould (Michael Ball)

Perhaps more than any other form of show business, the musical needs to have something new to say - or has to find a new way of saying something old. It's a vulnerable medium in that it's made of so many ingredients - story, words, music, dance, costume and setting - all of which have to come together in a perfect mix if the whole show is to succeed. But one of the constants about musical theatre is its ability to evolve.

Over the years, a number of shows have broken new ground - even smashed the mould of what was or wasn't a musical - and have been rewarded with commercial and critical success, including in this programme: 'Jesus Christ Superstar', 'Show Boat', 'Cats', 'Chicago' and 'Oklahoma!'

Key contributors include: Stephen Sondheim, Joel Grey, Maury Yeston, Tim Rice, Elaine Paige, Sandy Wilson, Elaine Stritch, Cameron Mackintosh, Michael Grandage, Gillian Lynne, Ruthie Henshall, Ted Chapin, Mary Rodgers, Marge Champion and Richard Stilgoe.

'Breaking The Mould' is written by Brian Sibley and produced for Radio 2 by Malcolm Prince.

Breaking The Mould: Michael Ball considers musicals that have dared to be different.