The Boyfriend

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Opened 20 July 2006, closed 15 September 2006 at the Open Air Theatre Regent's Park in London
Returned 28 August 2007, closed 15 September 2007 at the Open Air Theatre in London

Sandy Wilson's musical romance The Boyfriend is set in the 1920s at Madame Dubonnet's fashionable finishing school on the sun-kissed French Riviera, where young ladies are schooled in the finer arts of 'marrying well'.

Here Polly Browne, a millionaire's daughter, tries to escape the stern influence of her father and find true love encouraged by Madame Dubonnet - but when Polly falls for Tony the delivery boy, and so pretends to be a mere working girl herself, matters become rather complicated! This charming musical includes numbers such as 'Won't you Charlston with me?' and 'I could be happy with you'.

The Boyfriend in London is directed by Ian Talbot, the Artistic Director of The Open Air Theatre, and returns for a strictly limited three week season of just 25 performances following a sell-out run during 2006 season.

Sandy Wilson on the background to the musical The Boyfriend: "The history of The Boy friend began in the autumn of 1952, when the Players' Theatre in London approached me about writing a scena in the 1920s period, to be included in their regular programme of Late Joys. It was to last an hour or so, and have a run of three weeks. When it was presented in the Spring of the next year, under the direction of Vida Hope, I found to my astonishment, that the little scena had suddenly become a successful musical - and one that was destined to last rather longer than three weeks. It eventually reached the West End, in a full-length version, in January 1954, and ran at Wyndhams Theatre for over five years. Later the same year it opened successfully on Broadway, and has subsequently played in most of the countries of the world. I consider that I was lucky in that The Boyfriend coincided with, and helped to foster, a nostalgia for the 1920s, which has since had a profound influence on fashion and entertainment."

"As Ian Talbot's highly enjoyable revival in Regent's Park proves, the musical, often dismissed as 'too tinkly' by the high-falutin', is a work of rare wit, charm and elegance... The Boy Friend is a musical parody that transcends its own genre through melodic invention and sheer tongue-in-cheek style... An evening, as they say, of unalloyed pleasure." The Observer

"The Boyfriend, by Sandy Wilson, is an astonishingly tuneful show. Even without counting reprises, there are 17 musical numbers - among them 'Won't You Charleston With Me' and 'I Could Be Happy With You'. In this new production for the Open Air Theatre, Ian Talbot preserves the show's essential innocence... A pretty perfect way of spending a summer's evening in Regent's Park." The Sunday Telegraph

"The Riviera has arrived in Regent's Park with Ian Talbot's utterly delightful revival of Sandy Wilson's doubly nostalgic 1950s musical: nostalgic for the 1950s, when such sweetly innocent entertainment was possible, and for all those silly boy-meets-girl 1920s musicals that Sandy Wilson's words and music improve on in his pastiche." The Sunday Times

"Ian Talbot's production is perfectly judged and exquistely executed. It is all that a show at the Open Air Theatre should be: sunny, breezy, light and as sweet as strawberries and cream. All that's required of an audience is to sit back and enjoy one delicious melody after another... Absolutely ripping." The Mail on Sunday