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Sonia Friedman: 'I tried and failed so many times to stage Dreamgirls'

As the show announces an extension in the West End, producer Sonia Friedman has spoken about how long it took her to get Dreamgirls running

Producer Sonia Friedman
(© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage)

Producer Sonia Friedman has spoken about how long it took her to get the UK production of Dreamgirls to the West End.

At rehearsals for the show she said: "I tried so many times and failed," before explaining how she managed to get a one-night concert version on at the Haymarket in Leicester. "We had a small, privileged group of people who heard and saw the musical."

Director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw also explained how Friedman approached him to direct the show: "I was at the Olivier [Awards] with the Book of Mormon and Sonia walks past on the red carpet and whispers 'I've got the rights to Dreamgirls, you in?' My jaw dropped on the ground... so that really was a great day."

Nicholaw said that this was one of three shows he had always wanted to revive during his career and had seen the original Broadway run several times when tickets were only $15.

Dreamgirls has now extended in the West End until 6 May 2017. The show runs at the Savoy Theatre from 14 December with previews from 19 November.

There will also be a lottery for £15 front row seats with TodayTix will offering daily tickets to all performances via their app. The lottery will open from midnight and close four and a half hours prior to the performance. Winners will be drawn at random and notified by email.

Amber Riley will star as Effie White along with Liisi LaFontaine as Deena Jones and Ibinabo Jack as Lorrell Robinson.