Curtains Star Paice Will Be Scarlett O'Hara in London's Gone With the Wind

News   Curtains Star Paice Will Be Scarlett O'Hara in London's Gone With the Wind Gone With the Wind director Trevor Nunn has found his Scarlett O'Hara in the form of American performer Jill Paice, who is currently starring on Broadway in Curtains at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

Jill Paice
Jill Paice

The world premiere of the new musical based on Margaret Mitchell's epic novel will open in the West End at the New London Theatre on April 22, 2008, following previews that begin April 2.

Paice created the role of Laura Fairlie in Nunn's production of The Woman in White both at the Palace Theatre in London and on Broadway.

Her other theatre credits include Niki Harris in Curtains at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and currently on Broadway, where she reprises the role opposite Tony winner David Hyde Pierce.

She was also the original Sophie in the Las Vegas company of Mamma Mia! and appeared in the U.S. touring company of Les Misérables. Her recording credits include the original cast record of Curtains, The Woman in White and The Gig as well as a featured artist on the Andrew Lloyd Webber on Broadway album.

The creative team for Nunn's production inlcudes set and costume designers John Napier and Andreane Neofitou, respectively. Gareth Valentine (Wicked and Sinatra) is musical supervisor and arranger with lighting by Neil Austin and sound by Paul Groothius. It is thought that the show will be based more on Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning epic novel rather than the 1939 movie starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh movie.

With music and lyrics by sociologist-turned-composer Margaret Martin, Gone With the Wind has been in development for three years with Nunn, Martin and producer Aldo Scrofani of Columbia Artists, who has teamed up with London producer Colin Ingram for the West End premiere.

Set in 1860's Atlanta, GA, Gone With the Wind takes in America's Civil War and the Reconstruction Period that followed. Mitchell's heroine is 17-year-old Scarlett who lives a life of luxury on her father's plantation and embarks on a turbulent relationship with the dashing and dangerous Rhett.

In an earlier statement, Nunn said, "Having now worked on adapting two vast novels for the stage, Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables, I am drawn to the challenge of telling Margaret Mitchell's epic story through words, music and the imaginative resources of the theatre. The major turning point of American history is conveyed through Mitchell's extraordinary cast of characters, black and white, as they pursue their different ideas of the future, and of the past."

For more on Gone With the Wind, which is booking until Sept. 27, 2008, call (0)870 890 0141.

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