Musicals Extend: Les Mis, Phantom, Motown StreetsDate: 22 August 2005
Three West End musicals – recent arrival Dancing in the Streets and current longest-runners Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera - have all announced extensions to their current booking periods.
At the Cambridge Theatre, the Motown compilation musical Dancing in the Streets, which opened on 19 July 2005 (previews from 7 July), has added eight weeks to its schedule, taking it up to 19 November (See News, 10 May 2005). The show’s medley of hits includes classics made famous by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, The Commodores, Lionel Ritchie, Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson. It’s directed by Keith Strachan, with choreography by Carole Todd, and is produced by Flying Music, the same company behind The Rat Pack, now running at the Savoy Theatre.
At the Queen’s Theatre, Les Miserables will celebrate its 20th birthday in the West End on 8 October 2005. Based on Victor Hugo's humanitarian novel about a persecuted man in 19th-century revolutionary France, the show has been seen worldwide by over 53 million people in more than 38 countries and in 21 languages. In London, it ran for 18 years and over 7,500 performances at the Palace Theatre before moving down the road to its new home at the Queen’s in April 2004 (See News, 21 Nov 2003).
The current cast features former Phantom John Owen-Jones as well as Cornell John, Kerry Ellis, Shonagh Daly, Julia Moller, Shaun Escoffery and Hayden Tee (See News, 22 Jun 2005). Originally adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird for the RSC, Les Miserables has a book by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, with music by Schönberg and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. The production is designed by John Napier and produced by Cameron Mackintosh.
At Her Majesty’s Theatre, the West End's second longest-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera, marked its 19th birthday on 9 October 2005. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is based on Gaston Leroux's gothic novel about a masked man who falls in love with an ingénue singer at the Paris Opera House. The current cast features Rachel Barrell, Oliver Thornton, and in the title role, Earl Carpenter (See News, 23 Aug 2004).
- by Terri Paddock