The production will play through Sept. 20 before going on to visit Hamburg, Brunswick, Stuttgart, Munich, Milan, Zurich, Lisbon, Gelsenkirchen, Vienna, Budapest, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid and Berlin.
The show, conceived and produced by European music promoter Franz Abraham, is directed by Philip Wm. McKinley (Broadway's The Boy from Oz), with design by Mark Fisher (opening and final ceremonies of Beijing's Olympics) and Ray Winkler, lighting by Patrick Woodrooffe, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, choreography by Liam Steel and fight direction by Rick Sordelet. The book is written by Shaun McKenna (The Lord of the Rings in Toronto and the West End) and has music by Stewart Copeland (drummer and founding member of The Police, and composer of over 60 films and TV shows including "Desperate Housewives" and "Rumblefish").
Featuring a cast of over 400 performers and 100 animals including horses, donkeys, ponies, falcons and eagles, the production will include a re-creation of the legendary chariot race, in hich five quadrigas will compete in a race around the arena floor. According to press materials, the show has been developed over 15 years, and coincides with the 50th anniversary of the film of the same name. It will feature light, sound, water, wind and pyrotechnic effects, with huge projections on a water wall. The "stars" of the show will be the thoroughbred horses, who together with a team of trainers and charioteers, will have undergone 12 months of intensive training.
In a press statement, creator Franz Abraham commented, "The idea for Ben Hur Live began 15 years ago. Right from the beginning I aimed to create something completely new, with a high level of artistry, that would excite the audience. The show will have the speed of a musical, the depth of great theatre, the power of a rock concert and the visual opulence of a Hollywood blockbuster."
To book tickets contact the box office at 0844 856 0202 or visit www.benhurlive.com.