Cliff Bio-musical Opens at Prince of Wales, 12 MarDate: 2 December 2002
Cliff Richard (pictured) will be back in the West End in the new year - if not in the flesh, at least in the spirit. In the tradition of long-running bio-musical Buddy, Cliff The Musical will chart the life and times of the UK's most famous "bachelor boy". The show is due to start performances at the West End's Prince of Wales theatre on 12 March 2003, ahead of a limited season to 10 May.
Casting has not yet been announced, though Richard himself is not planning to appear in the show, a musical journey through his career, which launched in 1958 and has spanned more than four decades and 250 million record sales to date. Cliff The Musical has been created by Mike Read, Colin Rozee and Trevor Payne, who also directs.
Richard's last stage project was 1996's Heathcliff, a musical adaptation of Emily Bronte's classic novel Wuthering Heights, which the singer conceived and starred in. Derided by the press before it even reached the West End, Richard took the unusual step of banning complimentary tickets for critics who wished to review the show. At the time, Richard said it was not meant to be a snub to the critics but rather a questions giving his fans priority. Arts editors and critics had to stump up for tickets, which didn't stop them from panning the production.
Over the years, Richard's hit singles - many of which will feature in Cliff The Musical - have included "Move It", "Living Doll", "The Young Ones", "Summer Holiday", "Devil Woman", "Wired for Sound", "Mistletoe and Wine" and Eurovision hit "Congratulations".
The return of Jonathan Larson's much-lauded Broadway musical Rent - starring Damien Flood, Dougal Irvine, Debbie Kurup and model Caprice - starts its limited run this week (6 December) at the Prince of Wales, continuing to 8 March 2003. Prior to the West End, Cliff The Musical will have a brief regional tour.
- Terri Paddock