The new Boublil/Schonberg musical, Martin Guerre, which opened at London's Prince Edward Theatre July 10 to mixed reviews, has gone on hiatus for four days and will relaunch on November 1 in revised form.
The revamped show promises to have a radically restructured first act as well as a new song, "Working on the Land", opening the piece.
Additions and revisions to Guerre were incorporated into the show beginning the last week of September, and will continue through the end of October. Following the October 26 performance, the show will go dark October 28-31 (on the 28th, the cast will appear at the Royal Variety Gala) and reopen - cast intact - November 1.
Changes to the show "are intended to make the show more powerful," according to Marc Thibodeau, press representative for producer Cameron Mackintosh. Currently, there are no plans for an official reopening for the musical, though given the high-profile nature of the project, one can assume that critics are likely to venture back to the Prince Edward to reassess the show. Thibodeau stressed that the changes were to enhance the audience's experience rather than to get better reviews. Following the mixed critical reception to Martin Guerre's July bow, Mackintosh pointed out that Boublil/Schonberg's Les Miserables didn't debut to stellar reviews either, and only strong word of mouth turned the show into a hit.
Changes to the score of the musical have been included in the cast album, which will be released early-to-mid November simultaneously in North America (on Geffen Records) and England (on First Night Records). Produced for some 3.5 million pounds, the show is has been turning a small profit most weeks since opening. Quoted in the September 27 Agence France Presse, Mackintosh stated that he will reassess the show's viability in January if receipts don't improve.
In response to recent London press speculation that the show was hemorrhaging money, Mackintosh castigated critics for their "damaging 'Hit or Miss' headline mentality". In a letter published in the September 29 London Sunday Times, he urged critics to assess the work itself, not its financial prospects.
Mackintosh has not yet announced if he will bring Martin Guerre to Broadway.