Preview: Jack Foley
THE Bridewell Theatre is to celebrate its landmark 10th
anniversary with a major revival of of Stephen Sondheims
Tony Award-winning musical, Passion, from March 9 to April
The production is based on the Italian film, Passione dAmore,
which was adapted from a 19th Century novella, and will star Clare
Burt (Into the Woods), Mark Carroll (Miss Saigon) and Kate
Arneil (She Loves Me) star as the three protagonists.
It is set among a battalion of soldiers in a bleak frontier town,
as lonely Foscas obsessive passion begins to threaten the
happiness of Georgio and his mistress, Clara.
Passion has already been performed in the West End, in 1996,
when it starred Michael Ball, Maria Friedman and Helen Hobson,
but its origins lie on Broadway, where it premiered in 1994, and
won three Tony Awards, for best musical, best score and best book.
Joining the three principals in the Bridewells revival
are Matthew White, who was recently Olivier-award
nominated for Ragtime, William Kenning, David Menkin, Dominic
Brewer, Nigel Pilkington, Simon Masterton and Sebastian Bates.
The show will be directed by artistic director, Carol Metcalfe,
and designed by Carrie Southall.
It is being staged at the Bridewell despite the threat of closure
now hanging over it, due to a change in its charitable lease.
The theatre is now facing a financial shortfall of £100,000
per annum, which has placed its future in jeopardy, but a fundraising
campaign has begun in earnest, details of which can be accessed
via the Bridewells website, or by calling the theatre, on
020 7353 0259.
l Just weeks before its threatened
closure, the Bridewell has announced that it has succeeded in
raising the £110,000 needed to safeguard its immediate future.
More than half of the cash came as a result of the theatres
first-ever core public funding.
Since being founded in 1994, the Bridewell has existed rent-free,
but a change of lease, announced last Summer, means it must now
pay full rent, as well as a service charge of £90,000 per
The deadline for renewing the lease was March 31, 2004.
However, the Corporation of London and Arts Council England has
granted the theatre a one-off core funding grant of £30,000
The public money, on top of £50,000 raised through private
audience appeals, have enabled the theatre to sign a new two-year
Bridewell chairman, Robert Cogo-Fawcett, commented: "The
receipt of funds from both the Corporation of London and Arts
Council England is hugely welcome - welcome because it bridges
the gap created by the withdrawal of funding by the St Brides
Foundation and because it is an affirmation by both these bodies
of the high regard in which they hold the theatres work
in the City.
"The public have responded with donations at a gratifyingly
significant level making their contribution to an exemplary structure
of funding partnership, which reflects the importance of the Bridewell
as a unique place for the development and encouragement of musical
theatre in London."