From Noel Coward starring Dame Judi Dench to MGM musical comedy starring Dave Willetts. The next show at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket will be the touring production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which is due to open on 10 August 2006 (final dates tbc).

Set in Oregon circa 1850, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is the story of Adam, the eldest of seven brothers, who goes to town to get a wife. Having convinced Milly to marry him, he brings her back to his backwoods cabin, where she discovers he has six live-in brothers. Milly sets out to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own. After reading about the Roman capture of the Sabine women, Adam suggests his brothers kidnap the women they want.

The stage version is based on the 1954 Oscar-winning MGM musical, which starred Howard Keel as Adam and Jane Powell as Milly, the parts taken on stage now by Dave Willetts} (Cats, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and [Shona Lindsay (The Phantom of the Opera, Grease, Annie).

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has a book by David Landay, music by Gene De Paul and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Featured songs include "Bless Your Beautiful Hide", “Sobbin' Women”, “Lonesome Polecat” and "Love Never Goes Away".

The UK production, directed by Maurice Lane, has been touring regionally on and off since 2001, when Sam Kane first played Adam. The current leg of the tour started in August 2005 and continues until 1 July 2006, when it concludes in Malvern. It’s designed by Natalie Cole, choreographed by Adrian Allsop and presented by Martin Dodd and Peter Frosdick for UK Productions Ltd.

Currently at the Haymarket, Peter Hall’s revival of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever, starring Judi Dench, opens next Thursday 20 April 2006 (following previews from 11 April, delayed after Dench fell ill with flu) for a strictly limited season to 5 August.

NOTE: Booking has not yet opened for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in the West End.

- by Terri Paddock