Dannii Confirms Starring Role in Notre DameDate: 5 February 2001
Australian pop singer and former soap star Dannii Minogue is confirmed to make her West End debut as Esmerelda in the French musical, Notre Dame de Paris, at the Dominion Theatre. Minogue, who has already played some performances, officially opens in the starring role on 13 February 2001.
It was another Australian singer, Tina Arena, who originated the role in London when the musical opened at the Dominion on 23 May 2000 (previews from 15 May). Minogue now takes over from Patti Russo as the gypsy girl who attracts the affections of the hunchback, Quasimodo, who dwells in the bell tower of Notre Dame cathedral.
Minogue, younger sister to Kylie, followed her sister to success in the Australian TV soap Home and Away and in the pop charts. Her previous theatrical credits include playing Rizzo in an Australian tour of Grease in 1998 and Lady Macbeth in Theatrum Botanicum's Journey to Macbeth at last year's Edinburgh festival.
Based on Victor Hugo's novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", Notre Dame de Paris has music written by Richard Cocciante and lyrics by Luc Plamondon, with English lyrics by Will Jennings (who won an Oscar for the "My Heart Will Go On" theme from the film Titanic.) It is directed by Gilles Maheu, with choreography by Martino Muller and set design by Christian Ratz. In London, the show is produced by Michael White.
The musical first opened in Paris in September 1998 and went on to tour of France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada. Despite a critical panning on opening in the West End, the musical continues to play to enthusiastic audiences at the Dominion.
- by Terri Paddock