Follow Us on Twitter

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg posts closing notices

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

KNEEHIGH’S new adaptation of Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which opened at the Gielgud Theatre on March 22, 2011, has posted closing notices.

Originally booking until October 1, it will now close on May 21, 2011.

Commenting on the early closure, producer Daniel Sparrow said:

“Together with my co-producing team, we are immensely proud to have brought our production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg to the West End following its run in Leicester earlier this year. However, despite consistently positive audience responses, for economic reasons we are having to close earlier than anticipated.

“To have worked with Emma Rice, Kneehigh, our hugely talented creative team, cast and company has been a privilege and as producers, our ongoing ambition to bring fresh, innovative and original work to the West End will continue to be pursued.

“Following positive interest in the show from the global theatrical community, plans for a UK tour and various international productions of Umbrellas are currently in discussion.”

Previously Posted: It has now been confirmed that Kneehigh’s new adaptation of Jacques Demy and Michel Legrand’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg will open at the Gielgud Theatre on March 22, 2011 (previews from March 5).

Emma Rice will direct a cast that comprises Joanna Riding (as Madame Emery), Meow Meow (Lola), Carly Bawden (Genevieve), Gareth Charlton (Sailor), Andrew Durand (Guy), Cynthia Erivo (Madelaine), Dominic Marsh (Cassard), Aki Omoshaybi (Sailor) and ensemble members Laura Brydon and Matt Wilman.

Twenty year old French auto mechanic Guy Fouchier has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery, an employee in her widowed mother’s chic umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève vow to remain lovers.

However, after discovering she is carrying Guy’s child, she must choose between waiting for his return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant.

Joanna Riding‘s extensive musical theatre credits include Me and My Girl (West End); My Fair Lady and The Witches of Eastwick (Theatre Royal Drury Lane); Carousel, Guys and Dolls, A Little Night Music and Oh What a Lovely War (National Theatre); Lady Be Good (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park); and Martin Guerre (West Yorkshire Playhouse and on tour). She was seen most recently as Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot The Musical (Victoria Palace Theatre).

On television, she has appeared in Holby City, Doctors, Heartbeat, Where the Heart Is, The Royal, Midsomer Murders, The Brian Conley Show, Sean’s Show, Casualty, Strike Commandand Wings of a Prayer.

Meow Meow, a renowned cabaret artist, recently won the 2010 Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize for her show Feline Intimate. Specialising in kamikaze cabaret and performance art exotica her solo shows, curated by David Bowie, Pina Bausch and Mikhail Baryshnikov amongst others, have been seen across Europe and the US.

The Sydney Opera House recently commissioned her original music theatre work Vamp. In New York she has performed at the Lincoln Centre and Carnegie Hall. While in collaborations she has toured the US with The Dresden Dolls and recorded the album Here Kitty Kitty …The Lost sessions with Pink Martini’s Thomas M Lauderdale due for release in 2011.

Although Carly Bawden will be making her West End debut in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, she has previously appeared on stage in Sleeping Beauty (Wakefield Theatre Royal) and Whistle Down The Wind and Evita (national tours).

Gareth Charlton‘s stage credits include Don Giovanni (English National Opera), Cinderella (Old Vic), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK tour), and Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands (Sadler’s Wells) and The Nutcracker (American tour).

Andrew Durand, who appeared in the Broadway production of Spring Awakening, will also be making his West End debut in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. He is appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programmme between American Equity and UK Equity.

Cynthia Erivo‘s theatre credits include I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky (Theatre Royal, Stratford East) and The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain, a co-production with The English Touring Theatre, Traverse Theatre and Belgrade Theatres.

Dominic Marsh‘s extensive stage credits include Longitude (Greenwich Theatre); The Woman in Black (Fortune Theatre); Mimi and the Stalker (Theatre 503); The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, HMS Pinafore, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It and Oh! What a Lovely War! (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park); and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Alice in Wonderland (Royal Shakespeare Company).

Aki Omoshaybi‘s theatre credits include Hair (Gielgud Theatre), Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre) and national tours of West Side Story 50th Anniversary and South Pacific.

Laura Brydon‘s theatre credits include Jersey Boys (Prince Edward Theatre), Perfect Pitch in Concert (Edinburgh Festival), Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre) and Cats (national tour).

Matt Wilman‘s stage credits include Calling (Kings Head Theatre), Mamma Mia (Prince of Wales Theatre), Prince Charming in Cinderella (Charter Theatre, Preston) and Dandini in Cinderella (Assembly Rooms, Derby).

Kneehigh productions include The Red Shoes, Hansel & Gretel, Don John, Brief Encounter, A Matter of Life and Death, Rapunzel, Cymbeline and Tristan and Yseult.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is initially booking until October 1, 2011.

Read more about The Umbrellas of Cherbourg