Cardiff Musical Festival Revives Chess & TommyDate: 29 September 2004
Following its inaugural event in 2002, the triennial Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre will return in April 2005, as part of the city of Cardiff’s centenary celebrations (See News, 10 Dec 2003).
At a press conference held today in Cardiff, further details of the 2005 programme of shows and events are announced. Highlights will include a major new concert production of 1986’s Chess, by Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson (including promised star casting, still to be announced); centenary concerts in honour of Harold Arlen, Frederick Loewe and Jule Styne; a new production of Pete Townshend’s award-winning 1969 rock opera Tommy; and the world premiere of Amazing Grace, a new musical by Mal Pope and directed by Michael Bogdanov, celebrating the Great Welsh Revival of 1904.
In addition, the new touring production of the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate will be the first musical to play at the new Wales Millennium Centre.
The BBC Radio 2 “Voice of Musical Theatre” competition will once again take place at Cardiff’s New Theatre. (Laura Michelle Kelly, a previous winner, is now playing the title role in Mary Poppins at the Bristol Hippodrome, prior to its West End opening in December.) Another key feature of the festival is the culmination of the latest Global Search for New Musicals, for which 236 entries from 28 different countries have been received.
Commenting on the programme, Joanne Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Cardiff International Festival of Musical Theatre, said: “I am delighted that the success of the inaugural Festival has enabled us to continue and expand on the work we started in 2002. In 2005, the Festival will continue to bring to Cardiff, in its centenary year, the best of musical theatre stars, productions and audiences from all over the world.”
- by Terri Paddock