AS 2021 comes to a close and cinemas continue to welcome audiences back, many have dubbed the last 12 months as ‘the year of the movie musical’.

Movie producers have spent millions of pounds bringing theatregoers’ favourite musicals to screen, whilst some have been handed the reigns to let their passion projects become a new heavy hitter in the field.

One such producer, Lin Manuel Miranda, has had an extremely busy year, being part of three different Hollywood musicals. Miranda, who created Broadway staple ‘Hamilton’, created songs for the latest Disney release ‘Encanto’ as well as producing ‘In the Heights’ and ‘tick, tick…BOOM!’

The latter, which sees Miranda making his debut as a film director, is an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the creator of Rent.

English actor Andrew Garfield portrays the late composer who hopes to make the next great American musical whilst waiting tables in a New York diner. The movie has been in Netflix’s most watched list since its arrival on the streaming service in November.

This year also saw the release of Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated reworking of ‘West Side Story’. Starring Baby Driver actor Ansel Elgort as Tony and Rachel Zegler in her first feature film appearance as Maria, the Romeo and Juliet-influenced musical has received an abundance of award nominations since its release, with many calling the film Spielberg’s best work in years.

Amazon Prime has become the home for a number of musicals this year. A new adaptation of Cinderella, which features comedians James Acaster, Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett, arrived at the start of the year. English hit Everyone’s Talking About Jamie and Dear Evan Hansen were also available to stream on the service.

The Sia-produced Music, Come From Away and Respect, a movie about the life of Aretha Franklin, were also released this year.

Today’s nostalgia section takes a look at amateur productions across North Cumbria throughout the years, from a 1968 performance from Wigton Theatre Club to a 2016 production of Alice the Musical by Cockermouth’s Stagecoach Performance Arts all featured. Let us know if you recognise anyone in the images.