In the face of possible closure, the Bridewell Theatre, London's much-loved "musical laboratory", will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a major anniversary revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical, Passion, which runs from 9 March to 3 April (previews from 4 March).

Based on the Italian film Passione d’Amore, which was adapted from a 19th-century novella, Passion premiered on Broadway in 1994, when it won three Tony Awards, for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. A revised version of the show had its West End premiere in 1996, starring Maria Friedman, Michael Ball and Helen Hobson.

Amongst a battalion of soldiers in a bleak frontier town, lonely Fosca’s obsessive passion threatens the happiness of Giorgio and his beautiful mistress Clara. In the new Bridewell production, Clare Burt (Into the Woods), Mark Carroll (Miss Saigon) and Kate Arneil (She Loves Me) star as the three protagonists.

They’re joined in the cast by Matthew White (Olivier-nominated for Ragtime), William Kenning, David Menkin, Dominic Brewer, Nigel Pilkington, Simon Masterton and Sebastian Bates. Passion is directed by artistic director Carol Metcalfe and designed by Carrie Southall. It’s presented by the Bridewell and Okai Collier.

Founded in 1994 on the premises of a Victorian indoor swimming pool, the Bridewell has established itself as the capital's most important space for the development of new musicals, with a particular emphasis on premiering shows of up-and-coming American writers and composers such as Jason Robert Brown, Adam Guettel and Michael John LaChiusa as well as rediscovering the work of Stephen Sondheim and others (See Features, 23 Jul 2001).

Due to a change in its charitable lease, the Bridewell is currently facing a financial shortfall of £100,000 per annum, which could jeopardise its future. For further information on fundraising efforts, call the Bridewell on 020 7353 0259 or visit the theatre website.

- by Terri Paddock