The cast of <i>Merrily We Roll Along</i>
The cast of Merrily We Roll Along

Maria Friedman's WhatsOnStage Award-nominated revival of Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along will be broadcast to cinemas later this year.

The production, which originated at the Menier Chocolate Factory in November last year, was recorded during its run at the West End's Harold Pinter Theatre by Digital Theatre, a company that also has a strong link with the WhatsOnStage Awards, having sponsored both the coveted Best Actor and Best Actress in a Play gongs in 2013.

It will be broadcast on 24 October as part of a new initiative from Digital Theatre and CinemaLive called the West End Theatre Series.

According to press material, "The West End Theatre Series marks the first time that productions from the West End's leading commercial theatre producers are available in High Definition as a global cinema series."

Starting in 1980 and travelling backwards in time, Merrily We Roll Along marked Maria Friedman's professional directing debut and starred Mark Umbers, Jenna Russell and Damian Humbley.

Stephen Sondheim labelled Friedman's production "not only the best I've seen, but one of those rare instances where casting, direction and show come together in perfect combination, resulting in the classic ideal of the sum being greater than the parts."

It was nominated for three WhatsOnStage Awards: Best Musical Revival, Best Actor in a Musical for Mark Umbers and London Newcomer of the Year for actress-turned-director Maria Friedman.

Other countries besides the UK taking part in the cinema broadcast include the USA (where WhatsOnStage owner TheaterMania has teamed up as an American media partner), Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Russia and Brazil.

Tickets for the screenings are on sale now.

See also: Podcast: #WOSOuting to Merrily We Roll Along