The £2.85 million flamenco musical got off to a shaky start, with technical problems necessitating the cancellation of several performances on tour and during previews in the West End, but it won over London critics, who dubbed it a surprise summer hit (See Review Round-up, 16 Jul 2008). According to producers, the musical has been seen by 310,000 people and taken £11 million at the box office, breaking box office records at the Garrick. It’s also garnered for five nominations, including Best New Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for title star Matt Rawle, in both the Laurence Olivier and the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards (See News, 3 Feb 2009).
Preparations are under way for eight foreign productions, including the French premiere at Paris’ Folies Bergeres in November, and a second UK tour may be mounted in spring 2009.
A spokesperson for the producers told Whatsonstage.com that the London closing is a result of difficulty recasting combined with a “lack of confidence by theatre owners and producers” in what the spring and summer months will bring during the current economic climate.
Zorro is based on the 2005 bestseller by Chilean novelist Isabel Allende (who also co-produces) about Don Diego de la Vega, a fictional wealthy caballero who defends the people of Spanish California against injustice, and includes Gipsy King standards “Bamboleo”, “Baila Me” and “Djobi Djoba” as well as specially written new songs.
Leading the 30-strong cast, Matt Rawle stars as Zorro, alongside Emma Williams (Luisa), Adam Levy (Ramon) and, both also Whatsonstage.com Award-nominated, Lesli Margherita (Inez) and Nick Cavaliere (Garcia). The production is directed by Christopher Renshaw, choreographed by Spanish choreographer and dancer Rafael Amargo and designed by Tom Piper. Also on the creative team is co-composer and musical arranger John Cameron and book author Stephen Clark.
No further productions have yet been announced for the Garrick.
- by Terri Paddock