Wednesday, November 24

Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart Writing New Musical about Bar Italia

With his new musical Ghost in the pre-production stage and due to open in London’s West end next year, Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics has announced that he is working with Porridge and The Likely Lads writer Ian La Frenais on a musical about Bar Italia which is a famous London Café in Soho. 

The musical has been inspired by the Polledri family who opened Bar Italia in 1949 to cater for immigrants in London's Italian quarter and who still run the cafe. It was one of London's first continental coffee shops and it’s still going today with Dave Stewart as one of its famous customers.

He will be able to draw on the real cafe's colourful history for material as it was opened by US superstars Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, and is a favoured haunt of celebrities ranging from Rocky Marciano to Francis Ford Coppola. The cafe was in the thick of Soho's gang culture, with notorious fights taking place outside and customers with mob connections.

Stewart said: "This coffee shop is very small but what goes on in there is as big as the world. It's about la famiglia - about an Italian family out of place in the middle of Soho, where there are strip joints and everything, and they're a little Catholic family opening a coffee shop. You've already got that great juxtaposition."

The show will tell the fictional story of the owners' son who is lined up to take over the cafe but becomes involved with local criminals.

There are no dates mentioned yet, but will keep you posted.

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