UPDATED, Mon 13 Mar 2006 at 4.10pm: A statement from producer Robert Mackintosh has been added below.

Having already cancelled the first six previews (See News 9 Feb 2006), Boney M musical Daddy Cool has now been further postponed – by four months - until September at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre.

The premiere production, starring EastEndersMichelle Collins, pop star Javine and So Solid Crew’s Harvey, was originally due to start previews on 26 April ahead of a 16 May 2006 opening night. Exact dates for the rescheduled opening have not yet been confirmed.

The musical features the hits of Seventies disco group Boney M alongside a contemporary London story loosely based on Romeo and Juliet (See News, 19 Jan 2006). Caught up in local rivalry between east and west London crews, music lover Sunny meets and falls in love with Rose, the daughter of the East End’s notorious club owner, Ma Baker. The lovers’ relationship fuels the hostility between the two gangs.

Daddy Cool has a book by Amani Naphtali. It’s directed by Andy Goldberg and designed by Jon Morrell with choreography by Sean Cheesman, lighting by David Hersey, sound by Nick Lister for Autograph, musical supervision by Mike Dixon and orchestrations by Steve Sidwell. Bend It Like Beckham’s Gurinder Chadha acts as creative associate.

Producer Robert Mackintosh said: “The producers of the musical Daddy Cool have decided to postpone their opening to late August of this year. The creator/writer of the Boney M catalogue, Frank Farian, and I have decided to put back the opening of Daddy Cool by 12 weeks, to spend more time in pre-production in order to achieve the technical and creative possibilities of the show, which, in the long run, we believe will be in the best interests of the show.”

Boney M’s hits include “Rivers of Babylon”, “Brown Girl in the Ring”, “Ma Baker”, “Girl You Know It’s True”, “Where Do You Go”, “One Way Ticket”, “Mary’s Boychild” and the group’s first hit, “Daddy Cool”. Many of the songs, originally written in the 1970s and 80s, have been re-interpreted with contemporary musical influences. Daddy Cool is produced by Robert Mackintosh and Frank Farian, whose other artists, including Milli Vanilli and No Mercy, will also had songs featured in the show.

No further productions have been announced for the interim at the Shaftesbury. The theatre has been dark since the premature closure of High Society on 21 January 2006.

- by Caroline Ansdell