LONDON FALL PREVIEW: New Musicals from Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Tori Amos, Duncan Sheik and More

By Mark Shenton
31 Aug 2013

Tori Amos

NEW MUSICALS
The Commitments, adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle that has been adapted by the author himself, will feature a score of classic soul songs (at the Palace Theatre from Sept. 21). It is directed by Jamie Lloyd, who is currently also represented in the West End by his own resident company at the Trafalgar Studios, where his third production The Pride is currently running starring Hayley Atwell.

The National will make a rare excursion into new musicals – under Nick Hytner, it has only staged world premieres of Jerry Springer the Opera and London Road, plus imported Caroline, or Change and Fela! from Broadway – to now offer The Light Princess, featuring music and lyrics by Tori Amos and book and lyrics by Samuel Adamson (in the Lyttelton Theatre from Sept. 25). Marianne Elliott, Tony-winning co-director of War Horse, will direct a cast that includes Rosalie Craig. It is described as a dark fairytale about grief, rebellion and the power of love.

From Here to Eternity, based on James Jones' 1951 debut novel that is best known for the 1953 Oscar-winning film version, will begin performances Sept. 30 at the Shaftesbury Theatre. With a score by Stuart Brayson and Tim Rice, the cast features Darius Campbell (formerly known as Darius Danesh) and Robert Lonsdale.



Susan Stroman will again serve as director and choreographer for Kander and Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys — as she did for the show's world premiere at the Vineyard and its subsequent Broadway transfer — for its U.K. premiere at the Young Vic (from Oct. 18 for a run through Nov. 23). As well as the Tony-nominated Colman Domingo and Forrest McClendon, original Broadway cast members Christian Dante White and Clinton Roane will also star.

At the Almeida, Headlong will co-produce the world premiere of American Psycho, the stage version of Brett Easton Ellis' novel of the same name with a book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik (from Dec. 3). It will be directed by Rupert Goold, the former artistic director of Headlong, who has now taken the reigns of the Almeida.

Andrew Lloyd Webber will return to the Aldwych, original London home of his Whistle Down the Wind in 1998, to premiere Stephen Ward (from Dec. 3), teaming up again with playwright Christopher Hampton and lyricist Don Black with whom he previously worked on Sunset Boulevard. Richard Eyre directs the show, which is based on a real life political scandal that shook Britain in 1963. Its title character is one of the victims of the Profumo Affair - not John Profumo himself, the disgraced Minister for War, nor even the fatally wounded Conservative government of Harold Macmillan, but the society osteopath whose private libertarian experiments blew up in his own and everyone else's face. (By coincidence, another musical based on the affair, entitled Profumo the Musical, pre-empted it to receive a fringe premiere at the Waterloo East Theatre, running through Aug. 31).

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