Rewritten Version of Lloyd Webber and Elton's Beautiful Game to Play Canada

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31 Jan 2008

Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Photo by Aubrey Reuben
A rewritten version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton's The Beautiful Game, now titled The Boys in the Photograph, will be presented in Canada in 2009.

The Toronto Star reports that the reworked version of Beautiful Game will be part of the 2008-2009 Mirvish subscription season. A co-production with Winnipeg's Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Boys in the Photograph will likely play the Winnipeg venue April-May 2009 and then transfer to Toronto's Canon Theatre beginning in June.

Lyricist-librettist Elton will also direct the production, which will feature a Canadian cast and creative team.

Boys in the Photograph, according to the Canadian paper, is set in 1969 and "tells the story of a boys' soccer team in Belfast, made up of both Protestants and Catholics, and how the political and religious tensions of the time destroy the lives of many of the young men as they grow to adulthood."

Elton, who says about 15 percent of the material will be new, told the Star, "Andrew and I were very proud of The Beautiful Game, but it wound up being a very dark and grim show. When we opened, there were still acts of terrorism taking place between England and Northern Ireland, and that influenced us. We chose, I think mistakenly, to leave our hero not only unredeemed at the end of the story but morally destroyed as well, and that's not the kind of message Andrew and I like to leave with an audience."



About future productions of Boys in the Photograph, Elton said, "The dream is that the Canadian world premiere will prove hugely attractive to North America in general and who knows where it will go after that?"

The Beautiful Game features music by Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by actor-comedian-comic writer Elton. The London production, which ran nearly a year, was directed by Robert Carsen and featured choreography by Meryl Tankard, costume design by Joan Bergin, lighting design by Jean Kalman and sound design by Martin Levan. Orchestrations were by Lloyd Webber and David Cullen.