New musical Rue Magique, based on the relationship between a south London prostitute and her teenage daughter, receives its world premiere at the King’s Head theatre later this month (29 October 2008, previews from 21 October), running for a limited season to 7 December.

Written by Brett Kahr (music and lyrics) and Lisa Forrell (book), Rue Magique was initially developed as a short musical piece inspired by the stories of young people involved with a children’s charity. It has since been expanded into a full-length show which, according to press material, “portrays a world that exists beneath the radar of police and social services, where people struggle to survive by any means possible”.

A “rites-of-passage” story, it examines the consequences of what happens when prostitute Desdemona attempts to force her 13-year-old daughter Sugar to follow in her footsteps and sell her body.

Leading the cast are Melanie LaBarrie (Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, Daddy Cool) as Desdemona, Terel Nugent (Mary Poppins, Hairspray) as Rem and newcomer Nadia Di Mambro as Sugar. They’re joined by Gavin Ashbarry, Adam Bayjou, Julian Forsyth, Amanda Minihan, Amanda Posener and Anna Stolli.

Rue Magique is directed by Lisa Forrell and choreographed by Damian Jackson, with set design by Polly Sullivan, costume design by Natasha Ward and lighting by Tim Mascall. Musical supervision and orchestration are by David White, with musical direction by Andy Massey.

- by Theo Bosanquet