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Previewed 27 November 2010, Opened 6 December 2010, Closed 26 February 2011 at the Duchess Theatre in London
The new musical Love Story in London, adapted from the novel by Erich Segal with music and lyrics by Howard Goodall and Stephen Clark.
"What can you say about a twenty-five year old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. The Beatles. And me."Oliver Barrett IV went to Harvard and Jenny Cavilleri to Radcliffe. He was rich, she was poor. He was sporty, she played music. But they fell in love. This is their story. Their romance is as poignant as it is enriching, as sweet as it is intense. Love Story will win your heart. And it might just break it. Inspired by Erich Segal's best-selling iconic novel, this is a brand new musical version of Love Story, also one of the most romantic films of all time which introduced the world to the motto: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."
The cast for Love Story in London features Emma Williams as 'Jenny Cavilleri', Michael Xavier as 'Oliver Barrett IV' and Peter Polycarpou as Jenny's father 'Phil Cavilleri' along with Richard Cordery, Jan Hartley, Gary Milner, Julie Stark, Paul Kemble, Christopher Killik, Rebecca Trehearn, Jamie Muscato and Lillie Flynn (casting subject to change). The production is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh with choreography by Lizzi Gee and designs by Peter McKintosh. This productions comes into London's West End following a critically acclaimed season at the Chichester Festival Theatre's Minerva Theatre where it previewed from 29 May 2010, opened on 7 June 2010 and closed on 26 June 2010. Michael Xavier's London credits include Pageant the Musical at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2000.
"Howard Goodall knows precisely where to begin his marvellously moving new musical version. With the fact that Jenny is going to die. Then he does everything the film does but much, much better, with lots of piano and strings and lovely, lush, romantic melodies, and all in 110 minutes... Rachel Kavanaugh's slick, spare production unravels simply... Stephen Clark's book sticks close to the original, ditching some of the mawkishness and hanging on to the best lines from the film... But Clark's biggest achievements are making the lovers more real and sympathetic, and bringing out a second love story between fathers and their children." The Mail on Sunday
"Erich Segal's lachrymose 1970 novel-turned-weepie movie now becomes a chamber musical... Stephen Clark's book resists the syrup, but the composer Howard Goodall's default note is mournful, so any jokes are merely fireflies in the dark... Rachel Kavanaugh's immaculate production has powdery light sighing over the creamy set... This musical isn't the threatened trashy cheesefest: if anything, it's too darn tasteful to hit you where it hurts." The Sunday Times
The composer of Love Story the Musical, Howard Goodall, said: "Love Story has a reputation as a weepy, but our challenge in adapting it was to recognise that most of the story is about young love. It is only really the final section that is about illness. It was a film of its time, that tackled a topic that was not then talked about -- Jenny, the Ali McGraw character, contracts leukaemia. But she's a very modern woman: spiky, clever, unusual. It's two recognisable young people going against the odds. My previous experience of adaptions is that you don't want vast amounts of plot and subplot, otherwise you find yourself having to clear a path through all of them. But I went back to the book and I thought, this is a lean, clear story that could be done. The most difficult part of most musicals is the tone. Not maudlin, or saccharine, but a heartfelt story about people in love that somehow avoids being cheesy or eggy. Writing the songs, in a way, was the easiest part. Then it's constant rewriting and cutting. But I try not to think too much about its future prospects, or whether any of the songs might have some sort of life outside of the show. I always get it wrong when I try to second-guess which of my songs people are going to like."
The show is being produced by Michael Ball who said: "I saw it in Chichester earlier in the year in its first incarnation, and it's beautiful. It's new and it's British and it's what we should be encouraging. [It stars] Emma Williams, who I was in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with, and who did my last tour. She was one of the ensemble who came on and we've sung together. She was 18 when we did Chitty together, so I've watched her develop and grow into a fabulous actress and a lovely singer. Michael Xavier is the young man, who's very experienced, although new West End talent, and their chemistry together is so exciting. The music is beautiful, the story... although it's sad, it's so uplifting and life affirming. It's an amazing piece. We're going into a small theatre, The Duchess Theatre; it's not an epic. It's not grand sets or anything. It's just a beautiful piece of theatre."
Love Story in London at the Duchess Theatre previewed from 27 November 2010, opened on 6 December 2010 and closed on 26 February 2011.