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Dee Stars in King at Curve, Kneehigh Umbrellas

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The new season at Leicester Curve includes the world premiere of Akram Khan's new dance piece Vertical Road, a Christmas production of The King and I starring Janie Dee, a new version of Hot Stuff, inspired by the music of the 70s and 80s, and an adaptation of Michel Legrand's film musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, directed by Kneehigh's Emma Rice.

The season, running from September 2010 to January 2011, takes the £61million, state-of-the-art Curve into its third year.

It opens with the premiere of Vertical Road (14-18 September), a co-production with the Akram Khan company. Featuring a score by Nitin Sawhney, it "draws inspiration from universal myths of angels that symbolise 'ascension'", and will be performed by an international cast. It marks a return to the Curve for Khan, who premiered IN-I at the venue two years ago.

It's followed, from 5 October to 6 November (previews from 1 October) by Hot Stuff, devised by Curve artistic director Paul Kerryson and Maggie Norris. Billed as an “outrageous ride through the best and worst of the 70s and 80s”, it features music from the likes of Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, David Bowie and Marc Bolan in an “explosion of disco and soul”.

Next up, in the Studio, is a 'Festival of Friel' (4 November-4 December), featuring two of the award-winning Irish playwright's plays - Molly Sweeney and Translations - in rep.

The Studio also hosts the world premiere of Andy Barrett's Dolly, exploring the science and morality of cloning, which runs from 28 September to 2 October.

Two 'spectacular musicals'

The Christmas show will be a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's timeless classic The King and I, with Paul Kerryson directing a cast led by Janie Dee as Anna. The production, which runs from 7 December to 15 January (previews from 3 December), features new orchestrations and musical direction by Julian Kelly.

Rounding off the season is a co-production between the Curve and Kneehigh of Michel Legrand's re-orchestrated The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which runs from 11 to 26 February ahead of an anticipated West End transfer.

Adapted from the 1964 French film starring Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo, the story centres on the doomed romance of young lovers Geneviève and Guy, which is interrupted by Guy's military service.

The new stage version will be directed by Emma Rice (Brief Encounter), with lyrics translated by Sheldon Harnick and design by Lez Brotherston. The West End transfer will be produced by Daniel Sparrow and Mike Walsh productions, with casting and dates still to be confirmed.

Announcing the season today, artistic director Paul Kerryson said, “I am delighted to announce the opening of our third year at Curve … The season features two premieres, two brilliant plays from Brian Friel, two spectacular musicals and internationally renowned visiting companies.”


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