Chess Revival Will Play London Coliseum | Playbill

London News Chess Revival Will Play London Coliseum Laurence Connor will direct the limited engagement featuring the English National Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
Philip Casnoff, Judy Kuhn, and David Carroll in Chess Martha Swope/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

Chess, the musical love story set amid the tensions of a world championship chess match, will play the London Coliseum April 26–May 1, 2018.

Laurence Connor Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Laurence Connor (School of Rock, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) will direct with choreography by Stephen Mear. The five-week engagement will feature the English National Opera’s award-winning Orchestra and Chorus.

The limited run will mark the first major London revival since the original 1986 production, which starred Elaine Paige, Murray Head, and Tommy Korberg. Casting for the 2018 production will be announced at a later time. A 2008 concert version at Royal Albert Hall featured Josh Groban, Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, and Kerry Ellis.

The musical, written in 1984 by ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King, Evita), tells a story of love and political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War in the late 1970s-early 1980s, in which superpowers attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political ends. Songs include "I Know Him So Well," "One Night in Bangkok," "Anthem," "Someone Else’s Story," and "Pity The Child."

This is the fourth production in collaboration with ENO by Michael Linnit and Michael Grade, who brought Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close, Carousel with Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins, and Sweeney Todd starring Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel to the London Coliseum. Sunset Boulevard subsequently transferred to Broadway, with Close reprising her Tony-winning performance.

Chess played a brief run on Broadway in 1988 starring Judy Kuhn, David Carroll, and Philip Casnoff.

Tickets will go on sale November 3. For more information call 020 7845 9300 or visit

Chess, With Euan Morton, Jill Paice and Jeremy Kushnier, at Signature Theatre

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