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Scott and Zelda musical to take West End bow in May

Preview by Jack Foley

A NEW Jazz Age musical, about F Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, is to come to the West End in the Spring, it has been confirmed.

The Beautiful and the Damned will open on May 6, 2004, at the Lyric Theatre, following a highly successful three-week run at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, in Guildford, last June. The West End run will initially be booking for 16 weeks, with a view to extending it further.

‘Scott and Zelda’ were one of the most glamorous couples of the ‘Roaring Twenties’, but, as with many high-profile celebrity couples, their relationship abounded with tragedy, including alcoholism, poverty, imprisonment and insanity. Both suffered untimely deaths.

Scott was, of course, a highly successful author, famous for novels such as The Great Gatsby, while Zelda was a fashionable artist, who loved party-going, globe-trotting and big-spending.

The Beautiful and the Damned has been devised by singer-songwriter, Roger Cook, who came up with the idea in 1977.

The resulting musical has been more than a decade in the making, and boasts music and lyrics by Cook and Les Reed, with a book by Kit Hesketh Harvey, including additional material by Phil Willmott, who directed its Guildford run.

Casting for the West End run has yet to be confirmed, although, at Guildford, Scott and Zelda were played by John Barrowman (now appearing in Anything Goes), and Helen Anker.

There are also said to be a number of changes from the Guildford run, with several of the support players cut.

The Beautiful and the Damned is produced by Laurence Myers, in association with Charles and Mary Dobson. It is dedicated to the memory of Zelda.

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