Ishiguro 'Driving Force' Behind Remains MusicalDate: 9 February 2010
The long-rumoured musical version of Kazuo Ishiguro's modern classic novel The Remains of the Day is receiving its world premiere at London's Union Theatre later this year, running from 1 to 25 September 2010.
The musical version, which caused a stir in literary circles when it was first announced last year, is written and directed by sibling duo Alex and Chris Loveless, who hail from Cumbria and were behind a musical adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula at the White Bear in 2008.
A representative of the show told Whatsonstage.com that author Ishiguro, who won the Booker Prize for the novel in 1989, has been a “driving force” behind the project, and has been “closely involved in the development of the show”.
The musical will feature a cast of up to 14, accompanied by a four-piece band. Song titles include "Now as Evening Falls", "Duplicity", "The Way That Once We Were" and the title song.
Director Chris Loveless said: "Ish (Kazuo Ishiguro) has been absolutely wonderful and incredibly supportive ... he's written a couple of pages of the script to tweak the ending slightly for the stage. In our version we wanted Stevens to return to Darlington Hall, so that he finishes back where he started."
Loveless also admitted that they knew it was a "long shot" convinving people that the adaptation could work, but that "the central emotional core of the story is so strong that it lends itself perfectly to a musical version".
The Remains of the Day is set in Darlington Hall, where Stevens, long-standing and devoted butler to the late Lord Darlington, struggles to meet the needs of its new owner. Convinced he requires more staff in order to remedy his professional woes, Stevens sets out to meet his one-time housekeeper Miss Kenton and bring her back to Darlington Hall. It was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film in 1993 starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
According to promotional material, “Alex Loveless’ evocative score combines the immediacy of musical theatre with classical and folk traditions of the early 20th Century to form a compelling through-composed musical drama.”
The musical is directed by Chris Loveless, choreographed by Omar F Okai, with instrumental arrangements by Rowland Lee, whose credits include Matthew Bourne's award-winning Swan Lake. Casting will begin next month.