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Sebastian Revives Schwartz's Pippin for Xmas at Menier

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The Menier Chocolate Factory will revive Stephen Schwartz and Roger O Hirson's Pippin this Christmas, it has been announced.

The 1972 Broadway musical will open at the Menier on 7 December 2011 (previews from 22 November) and run until 25 February 2012.

Originally staged by Bob Fosse, the early Schwartz musical has a 70's pop score and won five Tony Awards including Best Choreography. Fosse's production, which he directed and choreographed, transferred to the West End a year after opening in New York and debuted at Her Majesty's Theatre in 1973 with a cast which included Patricia Hodge.

The Menier revival, which follows productions of Sunday in the Park with George, Little Shop of Horrors, La Cage aux Folles, A Little Night Music and Sweet Charity at the Southwark venue, will be helmed by Mitch Sebastian. The production is billed as a "high-concept revival" which will incorporate Fosse's original choreography.

A colourful, imaginative and darkly humorous coming-of-age story, the titular Pippin is the heir to the throne of Charlemagne. As he searches for beauty, glory, fame he has to come to grips with lust, sex, war, politics and religion.

Composer Stephen Schwartz is currently represented in the West End by Whatsonstage.com Award-winning musical Wicked which opened at the Apollo Victoria in September 2006. His other works include Godspell (which is about to be revived on Broadway), The Baker's Wife, Rags, Working and Children of Eden. Book writer Roger O Hirson's credits include film and television work as well as the 1966 Broadway show Walking Happy.

Director Mitch Sebastian's credits include choreography and direction for The Ratpack Live from Las Vegas as well as The Pirates of Penzance, Oklahoma! and Little Shop of Horrors, all at Kilworth House. Having started his career as a dancer, he has also appeared in a number of West End shows.

Casting for the Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Pippin is still to be announced.

Pippin also sees designer Timothy Bird return to the Menier for the first time since Sunday in the Park with George for which he designed the Olivier Award-winning projections. Lighting is designed by Ken Billington (Chicago) with costume by Jean-Marc Puissant, orchestrations and music supervision by Simon Lee and sound design by Gareth Owen.


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