The Gipsy Kings musical Zorro - which was hit by technical problems during its pre-West End tour earlier this year See News, 28 Mar 2008) – has cancelled its first two previews this week at London’s Garrick Theatre.

The £3 million production was due to start last night (30 June 2008), but that performance was pulled at the weekend while tonight’s was cancelled this morning. Previews should now commence tomorrow (Wednesday 2 July), with the press night still due to go ahead as scheduled on 15 July 2008.

In February, Zorro’s first night at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow was halted 20 minutes after curtain-up and later abandoned. A subsequent opening at the Manchester Opera House was postponed to allow for a longer get-in period. A statement released by the Opera House at the time explained: “Zorro is a major £3 million production which involves high-level stunts, action scenes, fast-moving choreography and sword fights. The production has an elaborate and complex set and, three weeks into its first tour, the producers feel more technical preparation time is required.”

Today, a statement regarding the West End transfer said that the producers “are disappointed to delay the first preview but the safety of the cast and crew is their priority”.

Leading the 30-strong cast, Matt Rawle reprises his performance in the title role, alongside new West End company members Emma Williams and Adam Levy. The flamenco-fuelled musical of Zorro is based on the 2005 bestseller by Chilean novelist Isabel Allende about Don Diego de la Vega, a fictional wealthy caballero who defends the people of Spanish California against injustice, and includes Gipsy King standards “Bamboleo”, “Baila Me” and “Djobi Djoba” as well as specially written new songs.

The production is directed by Christopher Renshaw, choreographed by Spanish choreographer and dancer Rafael Amargo and designed by Tom Piper. Also on the creative team is co-composer and musical arranger John Cameron and book author Stephen Clark.

- by Terri Paddock