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Marguerite - Theatre Royal Haymarket

Marguerite

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE THIRD production in the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company’s first season under the direction of Jonathan Kent, is the world premiere of Marguerite, which runs from May 20 (previews from May 7) to November 1, 2008.

The new musical, which stars Ruthie Henshall as Marguerite, has music by Michel Legrand, book by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Jonathan Kent, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer from the original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and orchestrations and arrangements by Michel Legrand and Seann Alderking.

A love story set in Paris during the Second World War, Marguerite draws inspiration from one of the greatest of romantic novels, La Dame aux Camellias by Alexandre Dumas.

Marguerite is the beautiful and notorious mistress of a high ranking German officer. Armand is a young musician half her age who falls obsessively in love with her. Their dangerous love story is played out against the background of Occupied Paris.

Henshall’s extensive musical theatre credits include Miss Saigon, Stairway to Paradise, The Other Woman, The Woman in White (as Marion Halcome), Chicago (as both Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart), Fosse, Peggy Sue Got Married (title role), Putting It Together, Divorce Me Darling, Oliver! (as Nancy), She Loves Me, Crazy for You and Les Miserables (as Fantine).

As a recording artist, she has featured on numerous cast recordings and compilation CDs; while her solo CDs include Pilgrim, The Ruthie Henshall Album and Love is Here to Stay.

Boublil is the author of librettos and lyrics for La Révolution Française, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre and The Pirate Queen – all in collaboration with Claude-Michel Schönberg.

He has won two Tony awards (Best Score and Best Book), two Grammy’s, two Victoire de la Musique Awards and a Molière Award for Les Misérables; plus an Evening Standard Drama Award for Miss Saigon and an Olivier Award for Martin Guerre.

Boublil is also author/librettist of Abbacadabra, which has songs by Abba; and author of the play The Diary of Adam and Eve, based on short stories by Mark Twain, as well as the prize-winning French novel Les dessous de soi.

Schönberg has supervised overseas productions of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon and co-produced several international cast albums of his shows. In 2001, he composed his first ballet score, Wuthering Heights, which was created by the Northern Ballet Theatre the following year. The Pirate Queen, his recent collaboration with Alain Boublil, was his sixth complete score.

Kretzmer has previously collaborated with Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg on the multi award-winning Les Misérables. His other theatre work includes book and lyrics for Our Man Crichton (Shaftesbury Theatre) and lyrics for The Four Musketeers (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).

His award-winning lyrics include Goodness Gracious Me which was recorded by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren and won the Ivor Novello Award; and Yesterday When I was Young and She, both of which were recorded by Charles Aznavour. As a lyricist he regularly contributed songs to That Was the Week That Was, ABC of Britain and BBC-3.

Marguerite has designs by Paul Brown, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Paul Groothuis.

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