Following the closure of Cabaret on 21 June, the Lyric is one of several major West End venues which is currently standing empty. It hosts dance show Flamenco Flamen\'ka from 18 September - 15 November 2008 prior to Never Forget taking residence (See News, 4 Jul 2008).
Speaking exclusively to Whatsonstage.com, producer Tristan Baker said: “we’re all very excited to be moving to the most famous theatrical street in the world, and the iconic Lyric theatre”. He confirmed that it’s an open-ended run, which will be preliminarily booking until the 25 April 2009 after booking opens on 8 August 2008.
Co-producer Bronia Buchanan echoed the sentiments, adding, “it’s a huge tribute to the dedication of our fantastic cast and crew - Never Forget provides a great evening of entertainment for everyone aged eight to eighty”. And, commenting on the so-called recent ‘West End recession’, she said that she hoped the “broad appeal” of Never Forget, will help it buck the recent trend of closures and continue its residency for a “long time to come”.
Never Forget, which today celebrates its 100th performance in the West End, centres on the members of the unlikeliest Take That tribute band and follows the rollercoaster journey of young Gary Barlow-like hero Ash (Dean Chisnall) and his mates (Craige Els, Stephane Anelli, Tim Driesen and Eaton James) in the pursuit of their dreams. Along the way, each of them discovers that pretending to be someone else can sometimes help you find out who you really are.
The show includes Take That chart-toppers such as “Relight My Fire”, “Pray”, “Back for Good”, “Babe” and the title number. The Take Thatters are joined in the 28-strong cast by Sophia Ragavelas, Joanne Farrell, Teddy Kempner and Marilyn Cutts, as well as 20 members of the Never Forget children’s choir who accompany them in the finale.
Never Forget has an original book written by TV’s Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, Clocking Off), Guy Jones and Ed Curtis, who also directs. The production is designed by Bob Bailey and choreographed by Karen Bruce, with costumes by Christopher Woods and musical supervision by Mike Dixon. It’s produced by Tristan Baker, Bronia Buchanan and Charlie Parsons in association with Jason Haigh-Ellery.
- By Theo Bosanquet