As previously tipped (See The Goss, 23 Oct 2006), The Musical of Musicals (The Musical) will return to the London fringe with a limited Christmas season, running from 7 December 2006 to 14 January 2007 (previews from 5 December), at north London’s King’s Head theatre. The 2003 Off-Broadway hit had its UK premiere this past March at Leicester Square’s Sound Theatre (See News, 8 Mar 2006), which closed in September to make way for a new hotel complex.

In the comic satire of musical theatre genres, one story becomes five musicals. June, an ingénue who can't pay the rent, is threatened by her evil landlord. Will the handsome leading man come to her rescue? This basic plot is musicalised care of first Rodgers and Hammerstein, then Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander and Ebb.

The show’s original run featured West End stars Susannah Fellows (Beautiful and Damned, Mamma Mia!) and Ian McLarnon (Sunday in the Park with George, Pacific Overtures) - who will reprise their performances for the new dates – as well as Joanna Ampil and Geoffrey Abbott. Two new cast members will be announced shortly. The production is directed by Julian Woolford and designed by Ben Stones, with lighting by Emma Chapman, choreography by Steven Harris and musical direction by Richard John.

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) first opened in December 2003 at the New York-based York Theatre Company. The show was nominated for five 2004 Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical, and the 2004 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, as well as the 2005 Drama League nomination for Best Musical.

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical) runs at the King's Head in the evenings after late afternoon performances of the venue’s new adaptation of Peter Pan, featuring the complete music and lyrics of Leonard Bernstein (See News, 1 Nov 2006).

- by Caroline Ansdell