There's been ongoing confusion over the show's final performance date since it's closure was first confirmed last month. Earlier this month, 12 April 2003 was announced and advertised, though the box office issued conflicting information. A spokesperson told Whatsonstage.com that a final decision was taken this week to play on until 26 April due to a demand for tickets ahead of Taboo's Broadway transfer later this year.
The original musical opened on 29 January 2002 (previews from 11 January) at The Venue - a theatre space specially created for the production in the crypt of a church off Leicester Square. Boy George, the former Culture Club lead singer who penned the show's original score, made his theatrical debut playing the late performance artist Leigh Bowery in May 2002 and has returned several times to the part, which he is currently performing and is expected to reprise on Broadway.
Also in the current cast of Taboo are Euan Morton, who was nominated for both an Olivier and a Whatsonstage.com Award for his portrayal of the young Boy George, Jackie Clune (Josie), Declan Bennett (Billy), Lucy Newton (Kim), Phil Nicol (Philip Sallon), Gary Amers (Marilyn), David Burt (Derek/Petal), Nathan Taylor (Steve Strange) and Gail MacKinnon (Big Sue).
Boy George was one of Britain's biggest stars in the 1980s and it's from that decade that he takes his inspiration for Taboo. It's the story of Billy, an aspiring photographer who launches himself onto London's vibrant club scene during the "decadent" decade and finds romance in the process. Many of the era's most notorious personalities - including Marilyn, Steve Strange, Leigh Bowery, Philip Sallon and George himself - populate Billy's extraordinary journey.
While Taboo includes snippets of some Culture Club classics, George has written an original score with all-new songs including "Ode to Attention Seekers", "Stranger in this World", "Love Is a Question Mark", "Guttersnipe", "Touched by the Hand of Cool", "Out of Fashion" and "Pie in the Sky".
On Broadway, Taboo will be co-produced by American talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell and is being rewritten for the American premiere in November 2003.
The London-based musical has a book by This Life writer Mark Davies, with designs by Tim Goodchild, lighting by Chris Ellis and choreography by Les Childs. It's directed by Christopher Renshaw, who won this year's popularly voted Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Director collectively for it and Queen musical We Will Rock You, and produced by Adam Kenwright. The musical is also due to embark on a UK tour at the end of year.
- by Terri Paddock