Matt Rawle will lead the 30-strong company, reprising his title performance. However, also as tipped, former Royal Ballet principal Adam Cooper and Aimee Atkinson, who starred alongside Rawle (all three pictured) as Ramon and Luisa on tour, are not contracted to accompany the transfer. Cooper's decision not to appear seems to be largely due to rewrites which will significantly reduce the size of his role in the West End. On his personal website, he writes "it seemed impossible for me to continue doing a part that has been stripped of so much", going on to wish the show "every success in the future". Further London casting has yet to be announced.
Zorro opened on tour at the Eastbourne Congress Theatre on 4 March 2008 before continuing to Woking, Southampton, Glasgow, Manchester and Milton Keynes, where it concluded on 12 April (See News, 4 Feb 2008).
The flamenco-fuelled musical is based on the 2005 bestseller by Chilean novelist Isabel Allende 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.
The £3 million production - which was hit by technical problems that forced the cancellation of some performances on tour (See News, 28 Mar 2008) – 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.
- by Terri Paddock