Producer Cameron Macktintosh has put on ice his plans for a new production of the musical Martin Guerre.
Mackintosh produced the 1996 West End musical created by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil who had previously collaborated with Mackintosh on the global smash hits Les Miserables and Miss Saigon. Against the backdrop of the Catholic vs Protestant wars of the European Reformation the show tells the story of a man who comes to a small French village claiming to be the long-lost Martin Guerre and tries to pick up his life with Guerre's wife. But she and the village are not quite sure that this is the same man.
In interview with Graham Norton in an interview for BBC Radio 2, Mackintosh commented that Schonberg had written "some of the greatest music of his career" but he admitted, "I don't think we ever found what it was that made the story sing in the way the music required it to."
The original production had been directed by Declan Donnellen and designed by Nick Ormerod, co-founders of Cheek by Jowl Theatre company. It opened at London’s Prince Edward Theatre in 1996, and was extensively revised during its run, with a short hiatus taken to introduce changes and a new opening night presented. It closed in 1998 after 675 performances. The original cast included James Corden, now host of his own American TV talk show, in the ensemble.
Further productions followed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds in 1998, of a completely re-written version that subsequently toured the U.K, and at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis 1999 that re-tuned the show further before a U.S. tour in 1999-2000. But a planned Broadway opening never happened.