Love Story, the Musical, Opens in London; Michael Ball Produces

News   Love Story, the Musical, Opens in London; Michael Ball Produces
 
The Chichester Festival Theatre production of the new musical Love Story, based on the Erich Segal novel that became a famous tear-jerker movie, opens Dec. 6 in the West End at the Duchess Theatre. London leading man Michael Ball is one of the producers, but not one of the crooners.

Emma Williams and Michael Xavier
Emma Williams and Michael Xavier Photo by Manuel Harlan

Previews began Nov. 27. The West End cast includes Emma Williams as Jenny, Michael Xavier as Oliver Barratt IV and Peter Polycarpou as Jenny's father, Phil. They all reprise their earlier roles, and are joined by Richard Cordery, Gary Milner, Paul Kemble and ensemble members Lillie Flynn, Christopher Killick, Jamie Muscato and Rebecca Trehearn.

Love Story has music by Howard Goodall, book by Stephen Clark and lyrics by Clark and Howard Goodall. Rachel Kavanaugh directs.

In the tale, according to the creators, "Oliver Barrett IV went to Harvard and Jenny Cavilleri to Radcliffe. He was rich, she was poor. He was sporty, she played music. But they fell in love. This is their story."

Love Story, running 90 minutes with no intermission, played the Minerva Theatre in Chichester earlier this year. The creative team includes set and costume designer Peter McKintosh, lighting designer Howard Harrison, sound designer Matt McKenzie and musical director Stephen Ridley. Musical staging is by Lizzi Gee.

Love Story is produced in the West End by Michael Ball, Adam Spiegel and Stephen Waley-Cohen, and is currently booking until Feb. 26, 2011. Olivier Award-nominated Emma Williams made her West End debut as Truly Scrumptious in the original cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which co-starred Love Story producer Ball.

Michael Xavier was last seen as Wolf and Cinderella's Prince in Into the Woods at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre earlier this year.

Lyricist-librettist Clark's work includes Mahabharata for Sadler's Wells, The Far Pavilions at the Shaftesbury Theatre, the Laurence Olivier Award-winning Martin Guerre at the Prince Edward, La Traviata for English National Opera and Zorro at the Garrick Theatre.

Composer Goodall's previous musicals seen in the West End include The Hired Man and Girlfriends. He is best known as composer of TV theme tunes including "The Vicar of Dibley," "Mr. Bean," "Blackadder" and "The Catherine Tate Show." He is also Classic FM's composer-in-residence and presents a weekly show on the station.

Director Kavanaugh is artistic director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre where her many credits include Hapgood, Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure and Uncle Vanya.

This marks the producing debut of West End and Broadway leading man Michael Ball (Aspects of Love, Hairspray, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Woman in White and more).

For information, visit www.lovestoryonstage.com.

Emma Williams and Michael Xavier
Emma Williams and Michael Xavier
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