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Lend Me a Tenor Musical Posts Early Closing Notices, 6 Aug

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Lend Me a Tenor The Musical has posted closing notices at the West End’s Gielgud Theatre. Following an out-of-town tryout in Plymouth last September, for which it was nominated for a Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Regional Production, the new musical based on Ken Ludwig’s award-winning comedy opened on 15 June 20011 (previews from 2 June) at the Gielgud, where it had been booking until 19 November. It will now close on 6 August 2011 after a two-month run.

In a statement issued this morning, producers Martin Platt and David Elliott said: "We wish to thank the extremely dedicated cast of Lend Me a Tenor The Musical, author Peter Sham and composer Brad Carroll and everyone who has taken part in the project. Despite mostly wonderful notices from the press, great feedback from our audiences and nightly standing ovations, this has not translated into growing sales and we feel it is in everyone's best interests to close the production on August 6th.”

Set in 1934, Lend Me a Tenor The Musical revolves around renowned tenor Tito Merelli, known as "Il Stupendo", as he prepares to perform his greatest role, Otello. Things go wrong at the final dress rehearsal though, as a case of mistaken identity, double entendres and innuendoes threaten to ruin the show. When Tito is incapacitated, the director’s meek assistant Max is given the daunting task of finding a last-minute replacement.

The 27-strong cast is led by Matthew Kelly (as Henry Saunders, the general manager of the opera company), Michael Matus (Tito), Joanna Riding) (Tito’s wife) [Damian Humbley (Max), Cassidy Janson (Maggie), Sophie-Louise Dann (Diana Divane) with Gay Soper, Jane Quinn and Michelle Bishop as the Ladies of the Opera Guild.

The musical has book and lyrics by Peter Sham, with music by Brad Carroll. It’s directed by former Open Air Theatre artistic director Ian Talbot, with musical supervision by Paul Gemignani, musical direction by Colin Billing, choreography by Randy Skinner, designs by Paul Farnsworth, lighting by Tim Mitchell, sound by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster and orchestrations by Chris Walker.

The next production announced for the Gielgud is Father Ted author Graham Linehan's new adaptation of 1955 Ealing film comedy The Ladykillers, which will open on 7 December 2011 (previews from 26 November) following a November run at Liverpool Playhouse. No further productions have been formally announced for the interim, although Neil Diamond compilation musical Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show has been tipped for a possible autumn transfer.


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