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