Marguerite is a new musical with book by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Jonathan Kent and music by Michel Legrand. Alain Boublil wrote the original French lyrics and Herbert Kretzmer worked on the English lyrics. Marguerite is the finale of Director Jonathan Kent’s Theatre Royal Haymarket Launch Season and follows on from William Wycherly’s The Country Wife and Edward Bond’s The Sea. Marguerite is produced internationally by Marguerite Productions, The Theatre Royal Haymarket Company and Bob Boyett.
Marguerite is loosely based on The Lady of the Camellias (La Dame aux Camélias) by Alexandre Dumas, fils. It’s one of the greatest romantic novels in the world and is the story that also inspired Verdi’s opera La Traviata. But this time the story is set during the Second World War, at the time of the Nazi occupation and the dark hours of the French collaboration. Marguerite, the heroine, is the beautiful and notorious mistress of a high ranking German officer, Otto. A young jazz musician, Armand, falls obsessively in love with her and their love story is played out amidst the excitements and dangers of occupied Paris.
Marguerite is a smaller show than their previous ones, and it is the first time that Alain and Claude-Michel have worked from the beginning on a musical that is not through-sung. They have been working as a team of three with the triple Oscar-winning musical legend Michel Legrand. Alain has previously worked with Michel Legrand on a theatrical adaptation of Jacques Demy’s French movie musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, which played in Paris in 2003. Michel has also toured the world in concert with Marie Zamora, Alain’s wife. The project has been under development for the last six years, together with Jonathan Kent, the co-founder of the Almeida, and a highly successful director in his own right.
Ruthie Henshall, the award-winning West End and Broadway actress, returns to the London stage to play the title role. No stranger to Alain and Claude-Michel’s work, Ruthie was in the original ensemble for Miss Saigon, before playing the role of Ellen, and later, the role of Fantine in Les Misérables. She has been a celebrity judge on ITV’s Dancing On Ice. Julian Ovenden plays Armand and Alexander Hanson plays the German officer, Otto.
The Marguerite CD is available from First Night Records.
Click on the PLAY arrow below to see a short film clip of Marguerite
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