Made in Chelsea meets Glee in new West End reality show

A new structured reality pilot aims to peek behind the curtain of actors' lives in London's theatreland

A new structured reality TV show is aiming to tell the West End Story, filming actors as they strut their stuff both on and off stage.

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The proposed new show, working title Life’s a Stage, will follow a group of young actors working and playing in London’s theatre heartland.

Production company Znak & Jones are currently looking for men and women between 18 and 35 to film a pilot for a “brand new and exciting real-life soap following the trials and tribulations of the actors, singers and dancers that are the lifeblood of London’s vibrant West End.”

Executive producer Glenn Coomber told The Stage that the idea first came to him while producing the TV coverage for the Royal Variety Performance.

“What began to fascinate me is how the casts change,” he said. “Shows that you thought would run for ages ran for much shorter than perhaps they were envisioned to.

“People assume TV is always very glamorous, and 99% of the time it’s not – and that’s even more true in the theatre world.”

He added, “I’ve been fascinated by the idea of people on stage in front of thousands, taking their curtain calls, and then having to run for the night-bus home. I just like that juxtaposition: you’re wearing incredible, expensive outfits and feel like a star – and are a star – but actually there’s a real world of people existing and getting by.”

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The show, he says, won’t be as “constructed” as reality rivals like Made in Chelsea and The Only Way is Essex, with Coomber explaining that “We want to keep it a real reflection of what they’re doing, but we will be adding to the storyline using the talents of the people involved.”