New Version of Porgy and Bess to Receive World Premiere in London

News   New Version of Porgy and Bess to Receive World Premiere in London A new, musical version of the Gershwins’ opera Porgy and Bess is to be staged at London’s Savoy Theatre later this year.

Adapted and directed by Trevor Nunn, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess will open Nov. 9 following previews that begin Oct. 25.

The £3 million (about $5.5 million) production will feature a 40-strong cast (to be confirmed) and a 20-piece orchestra. Rehearsals begin Sept 4.

Porgy and Bess — which features some of the greatest songs in musical theatre, including “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty o’ Nothin’” and “It Aint Necessarily So,” — premiered on Oct. 10 1935, at New York’s Alvin Theatre. With a score by George Gershwin, lyrics by his brother Ira and a book by DuBose Heyward, Porgy and Bess was based on DuBose and Dorothy Heyward’s novel "Porgy.”

Set in the fictional Catfish Row, South Carolina, the show was the first time the musical form attempted to reflect the African-American working-class experience. Since its premiere the show has attained opera status. Nunn’s version will run at two-and-a-half hours.

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess will be produced in London by Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Marc Routh, Howard Panter for Ambassador Theatre Group and Tulbart Productions.