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Previewed 7 May 2008, Opened 20 May 2008, Closed 13 September 2008 at the Haymarket Theatre in London
The World Premiere of the new musical by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Michel Legrand and Herbert Kretzmer, Marguerite in London starring Ruthie Henshall.
A love story set in Paris during the Second World War, the new musical Marguerite draws inspiration from one of the greatest of romantic novels, La Dame aux Camélias by Alexandre Dumas. Marguerite is the beautiful and notorious mistress of a high ranking German officer. Armand is a young musician half her age who falls obsessively in love with her. Their dangerous love story is played out against the background of Occupied Paris.
The cast for Marguerite in London features Ruthie Henshall as 'Marguerite', Julian Ovenden as 'Armand' and Alexander Hanson as 'Otto'. Marguerite is the World Premiere of a collaboration between Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg (Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and Martin Guerre) and the Oscar award-winning musical legend Michel Legrand and lyricist Herbert Kretzmer (Les Misérables). The production is directed by Jonathan Kent with designs Paul Brown, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Paul Groothuis. Ruthie Henshall's West End credits include the musicals Peggy Sue Got Married at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2001, She Loves Me at the Savoy Theatre in 1994 and Children of Eden at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1991. Julian Ovenden's London theatre credits include the musical Grand Hotel at the Donmar Warehouse in 2004.
"This remarkable production - with brains as well as beauty - represents a triumphant finale to Jonathan Kent's first season at this venerable theatre. It ticks all three boxes - sublime music, a compelling story and acting of the highest order - and in doing so raises the bar for modern musicals... Perhaps its greatest strength is the genuine chemistry between its two principal players. Ruthie Henshall is a revelation as Marguerite... and Julian Ovenden is a powerful stage presence as her lover. A great night at the theatre." The Sunday Telegraph
"Marguerite is an earnest musical love story which bubbles promisingly but never quite boils over. Based on Alexandre Dumas' 19th Century novel, it is updated to Paris during the Second World War. Here, the titular heroine is the mistress of the Nazi General in charge of the occupation of Paris until she falls for a hunky young jazz pianist half her age. The story has all the right ingredients for a hit, but somehow doesn't get under your skin. Maybe it's because the General is so stolidly uncharismatic, failing to create any real romantic contest with his rival. But it's also because it's so heavily signposted from the moment a bomb blast blows open French windows and triggers the illicit lovers' first backbending clinch... Still, Jonathan Kent's production is nothing if not suave, even though Alexander Hanson is endlessly po-faced as the stuffy Nazi and Julian Ovenden as the object of Marguerite's affection is a butch but sulky toy boy... The linchpin of the show, though, is Ruthie Henshall as Marguerite. Putting her liaison with the charmless Nazi down to experience, she offers us a sweetly sung, vulnerable heroine. The fact that she isn't especially moving isn't her fault but that of the labouring, melodramatic score and story." The Mail on Sunday
Marguerite in London at the Haymarket Theatre previewed from 7 May 2008, opened on 20 May 2008 and closed on 13 September 2008.