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RTE announce a musical about the Late Late Toy Show

By Sandra Mallon

RTE has announced they will be make their coveted Toy Show into a musical - but Ryan Tubridy will not be taking part.

Last night on the Late Late Show, the broadcaster announced a musical about the Toy Show will take to the stage this Christmas.

But host Tubridy said he will not be singing and dancing around the stage, but will instead focus on the annual TV version this November instead.

He said: “Now I know what you’re thinking!" Ryan quipped. "Ryan…the Toy Man… you’re a fine dancer! And yes, it’s true, I can hold a tune too. But I’m not in it!! I will be using my skills to great effect on the Late Late Toy Show, the regular one, on the TV in November, which will be bigger and better than ever before.

"So, how about we leave the theatre stage to the theatre actors! And wishing the very best of luck to all of the brilliant team involved there."

Toy Show The Musical will bring the magic of The Late Late Toy Show to the theatre stage for the very first time.

The story involves one little girl's Toy Show adventure as she and her family prepare for the biggest night of their lives. It's a story about family, tradition and how the magic of the Toy Show brings the whole world together each year for one truly amazing night.

Dee Forbes, Director General of RTÉ said: "We have been quietly working on Toy Show The Musical for quite a while and I am delighted that we are now in position to launch it.

"We said a number of years ago that live events were going to be a key part of RTÉ's future but we had to delay our plans due to the pandemic. Just like The Late Late Toy Show itself, so much care and thought is going into this musical.

“While it will be a very different to the TV show, at its heart it's a story about family, tradition and how the magic of the Toy Show brings the whole world together each year for one truly amazing night.”

This musical is created and produced by Late Late Show producers Jane Murphy and Katherine Drohan.

In a statement, they said: “We are thrilled to honour the Toy Show and all of the joy and magic that it inspires across Ireland every year with this new creation, telling the story of one little family and their adventures on Toy Show night, through the eyes of a child.”

Director Séimí Campbell, whose recent work includes Gary Barlow's "A Different Stage" and Jason Robert Brown’s "Songs For A New World" at The London Palladium is Associate Director to Rufus Norris on "Hex", at the National Theatre in London.

Speaking about Toy Show The Musical he said, "It's an honour to come back home to direct a new, original musical that celebrates the incredible tradition of the Toy Show; the magic of childhood, resilience of family and the power and significance of play".

Lisa Tierney-Keogh is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced internationally and at home.

Speaking about RTE's new project Lisa said, "I'm absolutely thrilled to be writing Toy Show The Musical, a celebration of the spirit and heart of this beloved Irish phenomenon.”

Grammy nominated composer and performer RuthAnne Cunningham is the multi-talented songwriter for the show.

A very special version of her lead song from Toy Show The Musical, entitled “All The Same” was debuted on last night’s Late Late Show in a for-one-night-only performance which featured guest appearances from Toy Show’s Saoirse Ruane alongside a host of other Toy Show stars.

RuthAnne said: "When I was approached by RTÉ to compose the music for the Toy Show The Musical, they sent me the story and I immediately thought of this song I had written with Jennifer Hudson And Busbee.

"I felt it was special with a relatable lyric that fitted in with the story perfectly, so I sent it over to the producers and they loved it instantly and wanted it to be a part of this show.

“It's an important lyric for children of all ages to remember that everyone in life is often feeling a lot of the same things, wanting the same things and going through more than we realise on the surface.

"As humans we really are all the same and the song aims to remind everyone to unite and support each other, be kind to each other and love each other." The track is available now on all streaming services."

Chair of the RTÉ Board, Moya Doherty said: "Toy Show The Musical is such an exciting and ambitious creative departure for RTÉ. "Building a new Irish original musical on the values and spirit of the Toy Show promises to offer theatre audiences something unique and magical this Christmas.

"That RTÉ has managed to assemble such a stellar team of musical and theatrical talent to develop this new show is a tribute to the enduring magic of the Toy Show and all who have contributed to making what it has become in our culture."

Toy Show The Musical will run from December 10th, 2022, in The Auditorium, The Convention Centre, Dublin. Tickets priced from €25 go on sale from Thursday 19th May 2022 at 10am. Go to www.rte.ie/toyshowthemusical for ticketing information and to purchase.

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