Lloyd Webber Invests in 'It-Girl' MusicalDate: 3 July 2000
Professional socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson could be the inspiration for a new musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber, according to The Sunday Telegraph. The newspaper reports that last week Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Group paid an undisclosed sum, 'thought to be about £500,000', for the rights to a play called Paradise Syndrome.
The play, which has only been seen on the London Fringe to date, is the debut work of 28-year-old Zoe Lewis. Lewis worked in the music industry for five years in the 90s and was surprised by the women she encountered at parties, their behaviour as bad and raucous as many of the male pop stars. Paradise Syndrome is allegedly inspired by the antics of such 'It-Girls', the most famous of whom is Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, friend of young royals and former Sunday Times columnist. Tomkinson, who has struggled with drug addiction and doomed romances, has already been the thinly veiled subject of Wendy Holden's comic novel, Simply Divine.
Paradise Syndrome follows the fortunes of five young women caught up in a merry-go-round of parties and clubbing. As the play opens, they are in the process of recovering from one all-nighter and preparing for the next. Later, they're seen snorting cocaine at a Downing Street cocktail party and driving under the influence, which leads to the death of one.
Commenting on the potential tie-up with Lloyd Webber, Lewis said, 'It was important for me for the piece to be seen by mainstream audiences, and no one was in a better position to achieve that than Andrew.'
Lloyd Webber's many musical hits include Cats, Starlight Express, The Phantom of the Opera and Whistle Down The Wind, all of which to continue to enjoy long runs in the West End. Recently, his many eclectic projects have ranged from The Beautiful Game, a football musical written with comedian Ben Elton which opens at the Cambridge Theatre in September, to Bombay Dreams, a Bollywood tale he's working on with film director Shekhar Kapur and Indian composer A R Rehman.