X Factor — It's Time to Face the Musical! Heading to West End in Spring 2014
By Mark Shenton
X Factor - It's Time to Face the Musical!, a new musical comedy based on the top-ranking U.K. and U.S. television show "The X Factor," is to be brought to the West End stage, where it is planned to premiere in spring 2014 at a theatre that is still to be announced.
According to a report in the UK's Daily Mail, that theatre is expected to be the London Palladium, currently home to the recently opened revival of A Chorus Line. The show, which has already undergone two workshops, is written by stage and television comic Harry Hill (winner of three BAFTAs, seven British Comedy Awards and a Golden Rose of Montreux) and composer Steve Brown (previously represented in the West End by Spend Spend Spend, which transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre in 1999, after a regional try-out at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds in 1998).
The musical will be presented by Stage Entertainment UK and Syco Entertainment, and directed by Sean Foley, whose production of The Ladykillers returns to the West End this summer. Foley has been seen on Broadway in the transfer of The Play What I Wrote, which he co-wrote and starred in, from the West End. Co-founder of The Right Size, he has also been represented in the West End by Do You Come Here Often? and Ducktastic.
According to press materials, X Factor - It's Time To Face The Musical! goes behind the microphone and under the judges' desk to reveal the (not necessarily accurate) story of heartache and laughter that keeps millions tuning into the TV talent show every week. It revolves around Chenice, who lives in an ITV blackspot because her grandad's iron lung interferes with the signal in her caravan. So she is the only girl in the world who has never heard of "The X Factor." When she accidentally stumbles into the audition queue with her talking dog, she starts a journey to both stardom and love. Along the way she's joined by contestants with vastly varying degrees of ability, some judges you might well recognize and Max, a handsome ukulele playing plumber and part time eco-warrior.
The creative team also includes choreographer Kate Prince (founder of ZooNation, whose shows include West End runs of Into the Hoods and Some Like it Hip Hop); designer Es Devlin (whose credits include the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, and creative director for Take That, Kanye West and the Pet Shop Boys stadium tours); sound designer Gareth Owen (whose credits include the Broadway transfers of A Little Night Music and End of the Rainbow from the West End); lighting designer Hugh Vanstone (Spamalot, Shrek, God of Carnage); and musical supervisor Phillip Bateman (Billy Elliot, Our House, Vernon God Little).
Stage Entertainment has previously produced Hairspray, Sister Act, Oliver!, Disney's High School Musical 1 & 2 and Fame in the U.K., and is currently also developing a stage adaptation of Made in Dagenham.
Syco Entertainment is a leading global music, television, film and digital production company. A joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment, with offices in London and Los Angeles, its shows include "The X Factor" (launched in the U.K. on ITV1 in 2004 and the U.S. in 2011 on Fox) and "Britain's Got Talent," as well as artists as diverse as One Direction, James Arthur, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, Il Divo, Labrinth, Loveable Rogues, Ella Henderson, Tate Stevens, Emblem3 and Fifth Harmony. Syco will also co-produce the forthcoming One Direction movie, a group who emerged out of "X Factor."
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