In the first of a new series of Whatsonstage.com Radio podcasts, Edward Seckerson goes behind the scenes at Leicester's brand new state-of-the-art Curve theatre and talks to composer Adam Guettel, director – and the theatre’s artistic director – Paul Kerryson, and star Lucy Schaufer on the eve of the European premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical The Light in the Piazza.

Highlights of the following podcasts – each of which is approximately 20 minutes’ long - include an exclusive live performance by Schaufer of the show’s number “Dividing Day”, to piano accompaniment by musical director Julian Kelly.

Adam Guettel

Paul Kerryson

Lucy Schaufer & Julian Kelly

This European premiere of The Light in the Piazza opens today 5 May 2009 (previews from 30 April) at Leicester Curve, where it continues until 23 May. Set in Florence in the 1950s, it tells the story of young American tourist Clara who falls in love with Italian Fabrizio, but the romance is opposed by Clara’s mother Margaret. Schaufer plays Margaret alongside Caroline Sheen and Matt Rawle as Clara and Fabrizio.


Above: Lucy Schaufer as Margaret. Below: Caroline Sheen & Matt Rawle.

The musical has a book by Craig Lucas and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel. The production marks a breakthrough for Guettel, the grandson of Richard Rodgers who, while well established in New York, has only previously had one professional production in the UK (Floyd Collins at London’s Bridewell Theatre in 1999).

Writer and broadcaster Edward Seckerson is chief classical music and opera critic for the Independent. He wrote and presented the long-running BBC Radio 3 series Stage & Screen, in which he interviewed many of the most prominent writers and stars of musical theatre. He appears regularly on BBC Radio 3 and 4. On television, he has commentated a number of times at the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. He has published books on Mahler and the conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and has been on Gramophone Magazine’s review panel for many years. Seckerson presented the 2007 series of the Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint. He has interviewed everyone from Leonard Bernstein to Liza Minelli; from Paul McCartney to Pavarotti: from Julie Andrews to Jessye Norman. For more info visit www.edwardseckerson.biz

Thanks for listening!