The Far Pavilions

Previewed 24 March 2005, opened 14 April 2005, closed 17 September 2005 at the Shaftesbury Theatre London

The Far Pavilions is a musical written by Philip Henderson and Stephen Clark, based on the novel by MM Kaye.

The Far Pavilions is set in the India of the British Raj at the end of the 19th century where, against the spectacular and epic sweep of battle, treachery and intrigue, two star-crossed lovers are caught up in a passionate and haunting love story.

"Corny is often such a snooty term; one that suggests intellectual superiority. But corny can still make good theatre. So let's hear an enthusiastic yahoo for an unashamedly soupy, soppy new West End musical. The Far Pavilions is as corny as Paula Radcliffe's big toes, as corny as Kellogg's - but it is terrific fun... It crunches its way efficiently through the plot. It gets on with the job in hand... This is a joyously escapist show, a happy show, a cheerful pick-me-up which even manages to elicit the occasional schmaltzy tear." The Daily Mail

"The British Raj has a lot to answer for: for example, the destruction of the Indian textile industry. To this must now be added this ghastly musical, based on MM Kaye's famous bestselling novel. It has done nothing to make me read it. This is an overdressed Victorian fancy-dress party, desperate to be multiculti, in which it is about as successful as chicken tikka masala with cranberry sauce... The music sounds like a blend of fake Lloyd Webber and fake Schoenberg (Claude-Michel, not Arnold)." The Sunday Times

"In the shape of the big, brassy musical that opened this week at the Shaftesbury Theatre, M M Kaye's themes of national identity (dee-dum-dee-dum-dee-dum), honour (der-der-der-dar) and forbidden love (tra-la-la-la) can seem trite and vacuous, if not downright comical... If you can overlook for one evening any sensitivities you may have about race, class, British history and what has been done to a much-loved book, and simply enjoy the music and the spectacle of a talented cast demonstrating tremendous grace under pressure, then The Far Pavilions might yet be for you." The Sunday Telegraph

"The lavish new West End musical version of M.M. Kaye's The Far Pavilions is Mills And Boon set against a backdrop of Indian sunsets and a portrait of Indian Empress Victoria. It is the hackneyed story of childhood sweethearts - she's Indian, he's British - who promise undying love, only to be torn apart by ambitious villains, class conflict and racial prejudice, before they are miraculously reunited. Here, at best, we have endless sub-Les Mis lushness, with one bland, slushy love song barely distinguishable from the next and a couple of Indian numbers thrown in as a background to some fabulous dancing by bare-bellied dusky maidens and the hunky Corps of Guides wielding lethal weapons." The Mail on Sunday

The muusical The Far Pavilions in London at the Shaftesbury Theatre previewed from 24 March 2005, opened on 14 April 2005 and closed on 17 September 2005.

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