The remaining performances of Little by Little, featuring Big Brother evictee Marco Sabba (pictured), have been cancelled (See News, 22 Jul 2004). The American musical received its UK and European premiere on 25 July 2004 at the West End’s Arts Theatre, where it was due to resume on Sundays 8 and 22 August 2004.

Commenting on the closure, show producers said, "It is with regret that we have had to cancel the remaining two Sundays' performances of Little by Little. Lower than anticipated ticket sales were a factor in our decision, but various unforeseen practical problems also played a part. Customers with tickets have already been contacted by the Arts and refunds issued accordingly."

First seen in New York in 1991, with a full Off-Broadway staging in 1999, Little by Little examines the ever-blurred boundaries between friendship and love. One man, two women, three sets of hormones. He fancies her. She fancies him. So far, so simple. Except that he has another admirer in whom they both place their trust. Can friends ever be lovers? Lovers ever friends?

Sabba – who was evicted on 2 July 2004 after 36 days in Channel 4’s Big Brother house - was invited by the Little by Little producers to fill a non-singing guest slot as the show’s camp waiter after they were impressed by his flamboyant behaviour – and frequent musical riffs - in the Big Brother house this summer.

Little by Little has music by Brad Ross, lyrics by Ellen Greenfield and Hal Hackaday, and book by Annette Jolles and Ellen Greenfield. The West End production stars Notes from New York’s Paul Spicer and Julie Atherton and is presented by the same creative team behind the occasional West End platform for contemporary US musical theatre. It’s produced by Neil Eckersley and directed by Benjamin Till, with musical direction by David Randall and sound design by Marcus Wadland.

Aside from the musical’s Sunday performance, the Arts has been dark since the premature closure of David Lindsay-Abaire comedy, Fuddy Meers, produced by Sam Mendes’ Scamp theatre company, on 12 June (See News, 7 Jun 2004). No further productions have yet been announced for the venue.

- by Terri Paddock