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Behind the Iron Mask posts early closing notices

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Behind the Iron Mask which opened on August 2, 2005, has already posted closing notices. The three-hander starring former Three Degrees singer, Sheila Ferguson, had been booking to November 5 but will now close on August 20, 2005.

Bad reviews and the current state of the West End which is forcing many shows to offer discount prices simply to stay open, have been blamed.

Previously Posted: A new musical set in 17th Century France, Behind the Iron Mask, receives its world premiere at the Duchess Theatre on August 2, 2005 (previews from July 20). It will star Sheila Ferguson (pictured), former lead singer of The Three Degrees.

The story is a familiar one.

In 1669 an unknown man was secretly masked and imprisoned on the orders of Louis XIV of France. He lived out his days in luxury, under the watchful eye of Monsieur St Mars, his only human contact.


He was moved four times, forbidden to divulge his identity and the reason for his imprisonment; and St Mars was sworn to secrecy on pain of death. However, due to an indiscretion on the latter's part, a gypsy was caught up in the relationship between the two men.

The prisoner, who many believed was the king's twin brother, died in 1703.

It is, of course, the story behind Alexander Dumas' 1841 novel, The Man in the Iron Mask, which has been dramatised many times, most recently in the 1998 Hollywood version that starred Leonardo DiCaprio, John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons and Gabriel Byrne.

Ferguson who takes on the role of the gypsy, was last seen in the West End playing Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie.

She is, though, probably best-remembered as lead singer of The Three Degrees who, during their heyday, had 28 Gold and Silver Discs.

However, following a recent stint in TV's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Ferguson released the album, New Kind of Medicine.

Also confirmed in the cast and in the role of the prisoner, is Robert Fardell whose other stage credits include Les Miserables (Jean Valjean), Evita and Heathcliff, alongside Sir Cliff Richard.

Behind the Iron Mask has music and Lyrics by John Robinson who conceived the show, and a book by Colin Scott and Melinda Walker. Tony Craven will direct.

Buy tickets now!

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