Exchange Replaces Sex Musical with Coward DesignDate: 9 May 2002
The Royal Exchange has cancelled its upcoming world premiere production of Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll. Based in the theatre's own hometown of Manchester, the musical - scheduled to run from 26 June to 3 August 2002, coinciding with the Commonwealth Games, held in the city this summer - was meant to provide the grand finale to the Exchange's year-long 25th anniversary celebrations.
It will be replaced by a new revival of Noel Coward's Design for Living, which will be directed by Marianne Elliott, who was due to direct the musical, and designed by Lez Brotherston. The 1932 comedy follows the fortunes of a trio of decadent 30-something artists.
With music by music by Mike Moran, Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll, was meant to be written by Debbie Horsfield, from an adaptation of her own original six-part television series. Set in 1965, it tells the story of 18-year-old twins, Ellie and Arden, whose lives are turned upside down when up-and-coming rock band The Ice Cubes visit Eccles. There's a chance that it may re-emerge in the future, though, apparently it isn't yet ready for a full stage production.
Tickets already purchased for Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll will be valid for the same seats and dates for Design for Living, which also runs 26 June to 3 August. Alternatively, tickets can be exchanged for future productions or refunds.
Currently playing as part of the Exchange's 25th anniversary season is David Mamet's American Buffalo, directed by artistic director Greg Hersov and starring Mike McShane until 18 May, which is followed by Beaumarchais' The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Helena Kaut Howson and running from 22 May to 22 June 2002.
Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre was officially opened by Lord Olivier in the autumn of 1976. Twenty-five years, 224 original productions and one bomb later, the Exchange - described by the Financial Times as the "National Theatre of the North" - is widely regarded as one of the country's most important producing theatres.
- by Terri Paddock