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Pet Shop Boys to premiere new cabaret show at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Frances Barber. Photo by Magnus Hastings.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

WRITER Jonathan Harvey and Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe will present the world premiere of a new cabaret show at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe.

Entitled Musik, it’s a 50-minute, one-woman show with what is described as an outrageous book by Jonathan Harvey and six songs by Tennant and Lowe, including four new ones specially written for the show.

It will star multi-award-winning actress Frances Barber reprising her role as Billie Trix from the 2001 musical, Closer to Heaven.

Musik will run from August 5 to August 24, 2019 at Assembly Rooms (Bijou venue).

Pet Shop Boys said: “When we wrote Closer to Heaven almost 20 years ago, we loved the compelling outrageousness of the character Bille Trix as written by Jonathan and performed by Frances Barber. We have all discussed for many years the idea of creating her own one-woman show which would give us the chance to write more songs for her as she looks back on her incredible career. We’re thrilled that this show is finally happening.”

Jonathan Harvey said: “It has been such a treat reconnecting and working with Chris and Neil on this, 20 years after our first foray into musical theatre writing. In Musik Billie, dried up, drug-addled icon and rock star, tells us about her life and sings her biggest hits. I can’t wait to see Frances Barber inhabit her again as she did so hilariously and so touchingly all those years ago.”

Frances Barber is an award-winning star of stage, screen and TV. Her extensive credits include the films Prick Up Your Ears, We Think the World of You, Dead Fish and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. Her numerous TV credits include The Street, as Madame Kovaria in multiple episodes of Doctor Who, and Silk. In the West End, she recently played Mrs. Cheveley in An Ideal Husband.

Pet Shop Boys. Photo by Pelle Crépin.

Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records. Since 1985, they have achieved 42 Top 30 singles, 22 of them Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four UK number ones and at the 2009 Brit Awards, they received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. They have also written a score for the classic silent film, Battleship Potemkin, a ballet, The Most Incredible Thing, and performed at the BBC Proms their musical work inspired by Alan Turing, A Man From The Future.

Jonathan Harvey is an acclaimed playwright, novelist and TV writer whose work has earned many awards. His plays include Beautiful Thing, for which he won the prestigious ‘John Whiting Award’ and Babies (National Theatre Studio/Royal Court Theatre), winner of the George Devine Award and Evening Standard’s Most Promising Playwright Award. For television, he wrote the cult comedy series Gimme Gimme Gimme, starring Kathy Burke and James Dreyfus, Murder Most Horrid and is a regular script writer on Coronation Street.

Musik is produced by Cahoots Theatre Company.

Tickets go on sale Thursday, April 18 via www.assemblyfestival.com/.

Images: Frances Barber by Magnus Hastings (top); Pet Shop Boys by Pelle Crépin (bottom).

Assembly Rooms (Bijou venue), 54 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2LR