Originally written as a song cycle for Marti Webb in 1979, the then one-act Tell Me on a Sunday was combined in 1981 with Variations, performed by dancer Wayne Sleep, to form Song and Dance, which played for two years at the West End's Palace Theatre. That show was subsequently seen on Broadway, starring Bernadette Peters, and revived in 1990 at the West End's Shaftesbury Theatre.
The story centres around an English girl who moves to New York and has various relationships with American men. Lloyd Webber and Black have expanded and reworked the new Van Outen-led production, with additional contributions from comedian Jackie Clune. Van Outen will also be recording an album of the show for a spring 2003 release.
Formerly best known as the presenter of such television programmes as The Big Breakfast and Something for the Weekend, Van Outen wowed critics when she returned to the stage in April 2001 to play murderess Roxie Hart (pictured in costume) in the West End production of Kander and Ebb musical Chicago. This year, she reprised the role in her Broadway debut before returning for a limited West End stint. Earlier in her career, Van Outen appeared on stage in A Slice of Saturday Night, Les Miserables, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Stop the World.
Tell Me on a Sunday will have musical supervision by Simon Lee and will be produced by Really Useful and Bill Kenwright. Currently at the Gielgud, the RSC's Jacobean season of five plays, also co-produced by Kenwright with Thelma Holt, continues until 25 January 2003. An interim production has not yet been announced.
- Terri Paddock