Cameron Mackintosh to Bring Les Miz, Mamma Mia! and More to China

News   Cameron Mackintosh to Bring Les Miz, Mamma Mia! and More to China
 
British impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh will present a Chinese-language production of Les Misérables as part of a new deal to mount musicals in China, the BBC has reported.

The producer has reached an agreement with the China Arts and Entertainment Group, which is regulated by the China Ministry of Culture.

Mackintosh said that he also hopes to take productions of Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady and Cats to the communist country. In a statement the producer said, "This is a hugely exciting project that we are undertaking with China's finest performing arts agency, and we deeply appreciate the support of the Chinese Ministry of Culture. Since my first trip to China in 1990s, I've been fascinated by the country and its people. I'm proud to be able to introduce the very best Western musicals to a country with its own rich musical traditions."

The plans also include training for Chinese writers and performers to create original Chinese musicals. The Chinese taste for Western-style musicals has grown since the 2002 China transfer of the Broadway version of Les Misérables, which Mackintosh took to the Shanghai Grand Theatre. The production was staged with Chinese surtitles.

Auditions for the Chinese-languague Les Miz are due to take place across China by the end of the year.

The upcoming production of Les Miz will open at the National Grand Theater beside Tiananmen Square in November 2008. Sir Trevor Nunn and John Caird, the original directors of Les Misérables, will direct. After its Beijing debut, the show will move to Shanghai for an extended run. The National Grand Theater will house Judy Craymer's Littlestar production of Mamma Mia! in 2009.

Les Misérables is currently enjoying a revival at Broadway's Broadhurst Theatre. The Alain Boublil/Claude-Michel Schönberg/Herbert Kretzmer musical celebrated its 9,000th performance in London Aug. 10 at the Queen's Theatre.

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