Michael Crawford stars in Barnum the musical. The show traces Phineas Taylor Barnum's career from 1835 to 1881 when he joined James A. Bailey to form the circus which was called The Greatest Show on Earth.
The musical, which had a successful Broadway run in 1980, transferred to the London Palladium in 1981 and later launched a UK tour. The first stop of the tour was the West End's Victoria Palace Theatre, where the BBC filmed the production for wide release in 1984.
The BBC had to wait until the UK tour finished all its stops before airing the program, resulting in a two year wait until the show first aired on BBC in December of 1986.
Years later, PBS picked up the program and aired it as part of its Great Performances series in 1990. It was later released on home media.