Ivor Novello's Last Musical to Receive Professional Premiere at London's Finborough Theatre

By Mark Shenton
17 Dec 2013

Ivor Novello's last musical, Valley of Song, left unfinished at the time of his death and completed by his longtime collaborator Christopher Hassall, is to receive its professional world premiere at London's Finborough Theatre, beginning performances Jan. 5, 2014, prior to an official opening Jan. 6, then running through Jan. 25.



Presented as part of the Finborough's "Celebrating British Musical Theatre" series, it will be directed by Benji Sperring, and feature a cast that comprises Matthew Lloyd Davies, Richard Mark, Amira Matthews, Jill Nalder, Ross McNeill, Harrison Rose, Philippa Tozer, Katy Treharne, Carla Turner and Sandy Walsh.

Set in a world of optimism on the eve of the Great War, Valley of Song is described in press materials as a "homage to Wales – Novello’s homeland – and a touching farewell to the music of his youth. Set in the Welsh Valleys in 1913, Nan Brewster is the largest landowner in the valley and supports the local valley choir, run by choirmaster David. David's love for Lily, his leading soprano, creates beautiful music for the choir. But when Lily is given an opportunity to sing in Venice, she jumps at the chance, and into the arms of Ricardo, a wealthy count set on making her an international star. But, by opening night, it becomes clear that Ricardo’s intentions are not entirely honourable. As Europe is plunged into the First World War, how much is David willing to sacrifice for the woman he loves?"

Produced by Tarquin Productions in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre, the show features lyrics by Christopher Hassall, book by Phil Park with music adapted and arranged and additional material composed by Ronald Hanmer. It is designed by Jacob Hughes, with choreography by Sally Brooks, lighting by Nic Farman and musical direction by Adam Morris.

Novello, who lived from 1893-1951, has previously been represented at the Finborough by productions of his shows Perchance to Dream and Gay's the Word, the latter of which subsequently transferred to the Jermyn Street Theatre. His other shows include Glamorous Night, The Dancing Years and King's Rhapsody.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 847 1652 or visit http://www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk.