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Cannibal! Eats in July, Western Silences Hannibal

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Cannibalism is back on the theatrical menu in 2010. As Hannibal Lecter is parodied anew in Silence! The Musical at the Above the Stag Theatre later this month (See News, 8 Sep 2009), an Off-West End summer season has been announce for Cannibal! The Musical, adapted from the cult 1996 film by South Park creator Trey Parker.

Billed as a “cannibalistic comedy cowboy musical” and the “most terrifying and hilarious musical since The Sound of Music”, Cannibal! was first seen Off-Broadway in 2001 and had a run at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe care of the Rival Theatre Company production, which now comes to Leicester Square Theatre, running in the Basement studio from 27 July to 11 September 2010.

Set in Colorado in 1873, Cannibal! tells the real story of Alfred Parker, the only American ever convicted of cannibalism. Parker – no relation, presumably, to the film creator – was the leader of a group who set out west in search of gold but lost their way and found starvation instead. Watch out for the cowboys, not to mention the Cyclops.

Meanwhile, Silence! The Musical, billed as “the unauthorised parody” of the Oscar-winning 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs” starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, opens on 21 January (previews from 19 January) at the Above the Stag in Victoria.

Silence! follows FBI trainee Clarice Starling as she uses her relationship with Dr Hannibal Lecter to hunt serial killer Buffalo Bill. The production transforms the film's dialogue into a full-scale musical, “complete with singing serial killers, unprintable titles, and a chorus of tap-dancing lambs”.

Musical numbers include “In the Dark With a Maniac”, “Are You About a Size 14?” and “I'd F**k Me”. The songs were written as a labour of love in 2003 by Jon and Al Kaplan, two brothers struggling to break into Hollywood’s film composing industry. After the songs gained a cult following, Hunter Bell wrote the book for the musical, which was a hit at the New York Fringe Festival in 2005. This production, directed and choreographed by New York’s Christopher Gatelli, features additional numbers especially written for the UK.

In Victoria, Miles Western, who won an Olivier for Pageant, plays Lecter alongside Broadway’s Tory Ross as Clarice. Also in the cast are: Shakella Dedi, Colin Duncan, Fabian Hartwell (Buffalo Bill), Leon Kay, Catherine Millsom, Phil Price and Phillipa Holliday. Silence! The Musical has musical direction by Bob Broad, set design by Prav Menon-Johansson and lighting by Richard Lambert. It’s produced by Peter Bull and Victoria Lang.


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