Jerry Springer — The Opera To Transfer to London's West End, Oct. 14

News   Jerry Springer — The Opera To Transfer to London's West End, Oct. 14 Jerry Springer — The Opera, currently enjoying a smash run in its world premiere at the National Theatre in London, will transfer to the West End's Cambridge Theatre, producers announced July 4.
Guy Porrit and David Bedella (facing) in Jerry Springer - The Opera
Guy Porrit and David Bedella (facing) in Jerry Springer - The Opera (Photo by Catherine Ashmore)

The new work, currently the hottest ticket in London, is selling out its National Theatre engagement, where it has extended twice through Sept. 30. The £3 million commercial production at the Cambridge will begin Oct. 14. Tickets will go on sale July 6.

Our House, the musical by Madness currently residing at the Cambridge Theatre, is slated to close August 16.

The score will be recorded live at the National in late July, but there is currently no official word on a release date or a label for the album.

Jerry Springer is also reportedly exploring the possibility of a run in New York. The New York Times cited interest by the three major Broadway theatre owners — the Shuberts, the Nederlanders and Jujamcyn.

The opera began as a "scratch night" event in 2001 with creator-composer Richard Thomas, then underwent a number of workshops before making a splash — in concert version — at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2002. New National Theatre Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner, who had followed the show's evolution, decided to present it as his first production and the National's first new opera, saying "It's exactly the kind of work the National should be doing: bold, scabrous, funny and beautiful." The stage work centers on its title character, talk show host Jerry Springer, and his widely followed television program. Known for its volatile and outrageous guests — who at times assault each other — the show's topics have ranged from "Hillbilly Love Triangles!" and "A Transsexual Turned Me On!" to "Surprise! I Have a Bisexual Lover" and "I Refuse to Wear Clothes." After the traditional "Jerry! Jerry!" chant, the show concludes with Springer's Final Thoughts — in which the host comments on the proceedings in an attempt to make sense of it all.

Jerry Springer — The Opera features music by Richard Thomas with book and lyrics by Stewart Lee and Thomas. Lee directs. The National Theatre staging is presented in collaboration with producers Allan McKeown and Avalon Promotions and marks the first original musical to transfer from the 41-year-old theatrical institution.

Characters featured in the production include Jerry (as played by lookalike Michael Brandon), the TV show's head of security Steve Wilcos (Guy Porrit), a slew of trailer trash and omnisexual characters, some KKK members and Satan (David Bedella).

The world premiere has earned many rave reviews, foreseeing the show as a cult classic. Jerry Springer himself provides one of the show's press quotes saying, "Everyone is always telling me I am going to hell. Now I've seen it...I hope the show comes to America...I only wish I'd thought of it first."

Tickets to Jerry Springer — The Opera at The Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London, can be purchased by phone at 0870-890-1102 or 0870-060-1733. For more information, visit www.jerryspringertheopera.com.