The Watermill Theatre’s revival of Jerry Herman’s 1974 Broadway musical Mack and Mabel, starring David Soul and Janie Dee, has posted closing notices in the West End. Following a UK tour, John Doyle’s actor-musician revival, which was first seen at the Newbury venue in summer 2005, opened at the Criterion Theatre on 10 April 2006 (previews from 5 April) and had been booking until 22 July. It will now close three weeks early on 1 July 2006.

Out of the silent movie era and the heady heights of 1920s Hollywood, Mack and Mabel tells the love story of two of director Mack Sennett, “the king of comedy”, and his star, comedienne Mabel Normand. Together they bring magic to the silver screen. Yet ambition, dalliance and the impending threat of changing times make for a tempestuous relationship. The score includes "Look What Happened to Mabel", "I Won’t Send Roses", "Time Heals Everything" "Hundreds of Girls" and "Tap Your Troubles Away".

In addition to Soul and Dee, the Mack and Mabel ensemble cast comprises: Richard Brightiff, Tomm Coles, Roubert Cousins, Michelle Long, Robin Pirongs, Jon Trenchard, Simon Tuck, Sarah Whittuck and Matthew Woodyat.

The production is directed by John Doyle with musical arrangements and direction by Sarah Travis, both of whom have just won Tony Awards for their earlier Watermill production of Sweeney Todd, which transferred to Broadway after its Award-winning West End season (See News, 12 Jun 2006). Mack and Mabel has a book by Michael Stewart and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, with revisions by Francine Pascal.

No further productions have yet been announced for the Criterion Theatre.

- by Caroline Ansdell