Friday, October 15

CAmeron MAckintosh confirms no revival of Boublil/Schonberg musical Martin Guerre

Updated 3rd January 2017 :In an  interview with Graham Norton on BBC Radio 2, Mackintosh revealed he has now given up on this project.

"I don't think we ever found what it was that made the story sing in the way the music required it to," Mackintosh said.The producer did acknowledge that Boublil and Schonberg had "unfinished business" with the show and added: "I firmly believe there is something wonderful in there, but I am not the person that will ever get it out of them."

Fresh from the success of the 25th Anniversary Concert of Les Miserables, composer and lyricist Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil are priming their musical Martin Guerre for a West End revival next year.

I saw the original production at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1996 when it starred Iain Glenn, Matt Rawle and Rebecca Lock. It was directed by Declan Donnellan and choreographed by Bob Avian.  I must say I found it completely unmemorable and  thought it was lacking something and was in no rush to see it again.

It played in the West End until 1998: a very re-worked version opened at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds before it embarked on a national tour and was last seen when Craig Revel Horwood revived it at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury in 2007.

Cameron Mackintosh told the Stage that plans to revive the show were in place and revealed that Horwood’s production had provided ideas on how a new version could work. He said “There is a lot of interest in Martin Guerre. It needs a little work on it, again. The last version was a very successful one at the Watermill and that production was so good it gave us a few ideas. It’s interesting; at least half a dozen people are after it. I would love to see it happen and maybe this is the right time,” he said.

Alan Boublil has also said that he is rewriting Marguerite - another of his collaborations with Schonberg - which starred Ruthie Henshall, Julian Ovenden and Alexander Hanson. It opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2008 and closed early after only five months.

He admitted he had never felt the show was ready to be staged saying: “I am completely rewriting it at this moment because I never thought it was finished. I think we took it to the stage too early.” I certainly agree with his words as much as I love Henshall and Ovenden this is another show I would not rush back to see!

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