Fears that the West End transfer of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers may be called off due to rights issues have now been quelled (See The Goss, 27 Apr 2006). As previously reported (See News, 15 Apr 2006), the production will go ahead as planned at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, with previews from 10 August 2006 ahead of a press performance now set for 16 August. The limited season is initially booking until 25 November.

The current successful touring production stars Shona Lindsay and Dave Willetts, who will reprise their roles in the West End. 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 and sets out to reform the uncouth siblings by finding wives of their own.

The stage version is based on the 1954 Oscar-winning MGM musical, which starred Howard Keel as Adam and Jane Powell as Milly. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has a book by Lawrence Kasha and David S. Landay, music by Gene De Paul, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and new songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn.

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.

Producer Martin Dodd told Whatsonstage.com today: “We are delighted now that we’ve sorted the licence out and we’ve still got the slot at the Haymarket. We are looking forward to taking what has been a really successful tour into the West End.” He added there will be some changes for the production’s West End run, but almost all the touring cast are staying on for the transfer.

Currently at the Haymarket, Peter Hall’s revival of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever, starring Judi Dench, finishes its strictly limited season on 5 August 2006.

- by Caroline Ansdell