BBC Arts announces major new commitment to performance and future projects. This includes a major new commitment to performance with a new dedicated Sunday evening slot and more details on the landmark arts series Art That Made Us.
Sunday Night Performance
From April, BBC Four will cement its status as the home of performance on the BBC with new Sunday Night Performances every week of the year showcasing some of the best of the UK’s dance, theatre, music and spoken word in specially made films for television.
Art That Made Us (BBC Two, 8 x 60)
Art that Made Us is a landmark eight-part series for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer to air in April alongside range of programming across BBC digital platforms and a nationwide festival that will run from 1-30 April across the UK.
Art That Made Us Festival (nationwide)
In an exciting partnership between museums, libraries, archives and galleries, the Art That Made Us Festival is an opportunity for audiences to explore the astounding creativity held in collections throughout the UK.
Art That Made Us linked programming
Alongside the Art That Made Us series will be four new episodes of Inside Museums on BBC Four. Huw Stephens will explore the National Slate Museum, Llanberis; Lachlan Goudie presents an episode from Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow; the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is the subject of Maria-Louise Muir’s programme and Diana Ali will explore the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.
Lenny’s One Love w/t (BBC Two, 2 x 60)
Sir Lenny Henry, national treasure and all round talent, celebrates his culture, background and future in two programmes about British Caribbean life. The first episode, Arrival, looks at the early British Caribbean pioneers of arts, activism, film, theatre, fashion, music and carnival; whilst the second explores contemporary topics from popular culture, social media, identity, food, comedy and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Maryland (BBC Two, 1 x 30)
Hayley Squires, Zawe Ashton and Danny Mays will star in Lucy Kirkwood’s adaptation of her own play Maryland – first performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London in October 2021. Lucy and acclaimed documentary maker Brian Hill have created a thirty-minute film which follows two ‘Marys’ and a chorus of modern-day furies as they deliver their story of what happens in the wake of various sexual assaults.
La Voix Humaine (BBC Two, 1 x 60)
Danielle de Niese will star as ‘Elle’ in a new film of La Voix Humaine, Jean Cocteau’s one-woman drama set to music by Francis Poulenc, shot on location in London and Paris. Directed by James Kent (Aftermath, Testament of Youth), with cinematography from Laurie Rose (The Father, The Children Act) and designed by Peter Francis (High Rise, Rebecca) the film will have its UK premiere on BBC Two in the spring.
Suzy Klein says: “I hope everyone will find something to love and enjoy in what we have announced today. Our programmes show a really exciting range and ambition, with stories of art, culture, ideas and imagination from across our cultural and creative history. I’m thrilled to be able to bring to screen the very best performances from leading creatives across the UK, including from our own BBC Orchestras, The Globe, Coventry City of Culture, Theatre Clywd and the RSC...
"At the BBC we are making it even simpler for audiences to find the things they love about the arts, with our new performance strand coming to BBC Four and some great series and single documentaries on BBC Two as well as all on BBC iPlayer. Whatever you watch, we hope you love our programmes as much as we do.”