Seven weeks before its scheduled opening – and just a week after Whatsonstage.com announced the production (See News, 25 Jun 2008) – Monkees musical Daydream Believer has been pulled. The new musical, based on the greatest hits of the 1960s pop group, was scheduled to premiere on 26 August 2008 at the Theatre Royal Plymouth ahead of an extensive UK tour.

A statement issued by the show’s producers today said: “It is with regret that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the production of Daydream Believer has been cancelled for the foreseeable future.” Actor James Bisp, who recently announced on his website that he had been cast in the show, has since posted a message saying that the show’s demise was due to “poor ticket sales”.

According to promotional material, Daydream Believer would tell the story of four boys who audition for a band, and “unwittingly become stand-ins for the most famous group in the world”. It promised “a nostalgic trip down memory lane for those who remember the TV series”, while producers hoped the “enduring charm” of The Monkees’ back catalogue would appeal to a “whole new generation”.

The original Monkees - Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz - were formed in 1966 as a fictional pop group for a zany TV show. But the success of their first album soon saw them start touring as a real band, going on to become one of the most successful pop acts of the 1960s, with songwriters including Neil Diamond, Carole King and Harry Nilsson among their many collaborators. Their hits included “Daydream Believer”, “I’m a Believer”, “Steppin’ Stone”, “Hey, Hey We\'re The Monkees” and “Last Train to Clarksville”.

The musical is written by Peter Benedict and directed by British-based American David Taylor, whose previous credits include international tours of Cats, South Pacific and Speed-the-Plow. It was being produced by Nick Brooke in partnership with the Churchill Theatre Bromley and the Theatre Royal Plymouth. Further casting had yet to be announced.

Following its premiere in Plymouth, the show had been due to visit Belfast, Windsor, Stoke-On-Trent, Woking, Glasgow, Richmond, Cambridge, Brighton, Bromley, Darlington and Eastbourne, with further venues planned. Producers say that ticket holders will be “contacted in due course”. Any queries regarding refunds should be directed to the point of sale.

- by Theo Bosanquet