Previously, the only production to be seen in the UK was the original Nicholas Hytner staging, which finished its UK tour in December 2003. Now, though, director Mitchell Lemsky and designer Adrian Vaux will put their own spin on the show. And famous illustrator Gerald Scarfe provides designs for the Engineer’s show-stopper, “The American Dream.”
So, no prop helicopter and no pink Cadillac this time. “The Hytner production was so huge, it could only play eight theatres in the UK.”, Nick Allott, managing director of producers Cameron Mackintosh Ltd., explained to Playbill On-Line. “Each move for that staging cost £600,000. The new one will cost around £100,000 per move.”. Asked whether the new production might provide the spur for the musical to return to the West End, Allott was non-committal – “It’s the kind of thing we might bring back into town one day if it feels right and there’s a theatre available.”.
Lemsky’s production opens at Plymouth’s Theatre Royal on July 14 (playing there until Aug. 21), after which it will embark on a two-year UK tour. Mackintosh claims it will be the largest touring production in the country, with a company comprising over 50 actors and musicians. Choreography is by Maggie Goodwin, with additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt, based on the original Bob Avian movement. Costumes are by Andreane Neofitou, lighting by Jenny Kagan, sound by Andrew Bruce and Nick Lidster and orchestrations by William David Brohn.
The musical, lyrics by Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr. and music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, premiered in London in 1989. It has been performed in 18 countries, in 9 different languages, has been seen by more than 31 million people around the world and has grossed more than £950 million according to the producer’s figures.
Plymouth, Theatre Royal: July 14 –Aug. 21
Bradford, Alhambra Theatre: Aug. 25 –Oct. 23
Glasgow, King’s Theatre: Oct. 26 – Dec. 4
Oxford, New Theatre: Dec. 7 –Jan. 8, 2005
Sunderland, Empire Theatre: Jan. 18 –March 5, 2005
Liverpool, Empire Theatre: March 8 –April 2, 2005
Norwich, Theatre Royal: April 5 – 30, 2005
Milton Keynes, Milton Keynes Theatre: May 3 –June 4, 2005
Cardiff, Welsh Millennium Centre: June 7 –July 9, 2005
Woking, New Victoria Theatre: July 12 – Aug. 13, 2005
Nottingham, Theatre Royal: Aug. - Sept. 2005
For more information on the Plymouth run, call (0)1752 267222.