Jazz Age musical Beautiful and Damned has posted closing notices at the West End’s Lyric Theatre (See News, 15 Mar 2004). The new musical, which tells the story of Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald, opened to largely poor reviews on 10 May 2004 (previews from 28 April). It will now close at the end of its current booking period on 14 August 2004, after a run of three months.

"Scott and Zelda" – played by Michael Praed and Helen Anker - were the most glamorous couple of the Roaring Twenties. Scott, the successful author of novels including The Great Gatsby and Beautiful and Damned, and his fashionable artist wife lived the ultimate globe-trotting, party-going, big-spending high life. But for all the glamour, there was also abundant tragedy, including alcoholism, insanity, incarceration, poverty and untimely deaths for them both.

Beautiful and Damned is the brainchild of singer and songwriter Roger Cook, who originally had the idea in 1977. The resulting musical has been more than ten years in the making. It has music and lyrics by Cook and Les Reed, with a book by Kit Hesketh-Harvey.

The musical was first seen in a three-week try-out at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in June 2003 (See News, 2 May 2003).The West End production is choreographed and directed by Craig Revel Horwood and designed by Christopher Woods, with lighting by Nick Richings, orchestration by Larry Blank, dance and incidental music arrangements by David Krane and musical direction by John Owen Edwards.

It’s presented in the West End by Laurence Myers in association with Charles, Mary and Julian Dobson by arrangement with Really Useful Theatres. No further productions have yet been announced for the Lyric.

- by Terri Paddock