Producers say that although they had plenty of advance sales for the show, the impact of the terrorist attacks in America had been devastating. While September and October are usually the busiest months for the West End - with an influx of foreign tourists, particularly from North America - since 11 September those necessary hordes have been staying away. Peggy Sue Got Married, which has a 30-strong cast plus a huge backstage staff and orchestra, has reportedly been losing £50,000 a week as a result.
The show was meant to be a grand homecoming vehicle for Ruthie Henshall - Olivier award-winner and star of West End hits like Chicago, Crazy for You, She Loves Me and Oliver! - who has been living in New York and working on Broadway for several years. While the show itself received mixed reviews, there was widespread praise for the leading lady's performance.
The closure of Peggy Sue Got Married is the third high-profile casualty in the West End since 11 September. The Pet Shop Boys-Jonathan Harvey clubland musical Closer to Heaven will also close on 13 October while Alistair Beaton's political satire Feelgood will shutter on 27 October, at the end of its current booking period.
Peggy Sue Got Married relates the romantic experiences of a middle-aged housewife who has a supernatural experience at her high school reunion and time-travels back to her 1950s high school days. Francis Ford Coppola’s 1986 film version starred Nicolas Cage and Kathleen Turner.
Henshall is joined in the cast by Andrew Kennedy, Gerard Bentall, Verity Bentham, Dawn Buckland, Chris Compton, Pippa Gebette, Shirley Hasey, Terence Hillyer, Tim Howard, Samuel James, Steve Lawton and Gavin Lee.
Peggy Sue Got Married has a book by Jerry Leichtling and Arlene Sarner (the duo who also wrote the screenplay for the film), lyrics by Leichtling and music by former Four Seasons songwriter Bob Gaudio. The production is directed by Kelly Robinson, choreographed by Sergio Trujillo and designed by Ruari Murchison, with lighting by Mark Jonathan and sound by Rick Clarke.
- by Terri Paddock