Snoopy the Musical

Previewed 16 September 1983, Opened 20 September 1983, Closed 11 November 1984 at the Duchess Theatre in London

The Beagle has landed! A new musical based on the life and philosophy of Snoopy, the star of Charles M Schultz's syndicated newspaper strip cartoon 'Peanuts'. This is an expanded version of the musical that enjoyed an off-Broadway run in 1982 to 1983.

The cast features Teddy Kemper as 'Snoopy', Robert Locke as 'Charlie', Anthony Best as 'Woodstock', Zoe Bright as 'Lucy', Mark Hadfield as 'Linus', Nicky Croydon as 'Peppermint Patty' and Susie Blake as 'Sally Brown'. Music by Larry Grossman and lyrics by Hal Hackady, adapted by Arthur Whitelaw from Charles Schultz. Directed by Arthur Whitelaw with choreography by Kay Cole and designs by David Garden. This production comes into London's West End following a successful season earlier this year at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury.

"The snout that launched a million T-shirts is now eagerly milling the night air of Drury Lane, but however hardened your prejudices against the ever-proliferating 'Peanuts' industry, Larry Grossman and Hal Hackady's musical is calculated to melt them. In its own way, Snoopy is as skilful and seductive a piece of work as Annie. As befits Charles Schulz's comic strip it is a much smaller show... There is no attempt to cook up any kind of plot. As in the strip, it is one bruising encounter after another; and the only factor that holds them together is the sight of these blunderingly naive characters through the amused gaze of the starring hound, first seen greeting the day as if from his Ritz balcony and expressing a preference for sword-fish rather than dog food... one success of Arthur Whitelaw's production is that it cross-fertilizes Schulz's back-yard world with that of old-time vaudeville. Syncopation occasionally breaks into Mr Grossman's score but for most of the time it stays on the solid ground of country ballads, patter songs, and four-square choruses. The lyrics are anything but four-square: for instance, a classroom sextet itemizing all the works not written by Edgar Allen Poe." The Times

"The Duchess Theatre re-opens with Snoopy, a short, sugar-and-spice, musical revue hewn from Charles M. Schulz's famous Peanuts comic-strip. Larry Grossman's music has a simple bounciness, and anthropomorphic tweeness is kept mercifully at bay. All the same, what is tart and pungent in a daily strip tends to become repetitive when stretched over two hours. The basic format is pretty simple. The candy-coloured world of childhood innocence is offset by a good deal of adult knowingness; and naive fall-guy remarks are invariably followed by a smart-arse put-down... But, like most cartoon-strip shows, it doesn't so much develop its ideas as accumulate them; and the astringency of the jokes is belied by Hal Hackady's lyrics which place great stress on the American success ethic... This innocent-looking revue certainly makes its point that the child is father of the wisecracking man; but I still can't help feeling that brevity is the soul of strip." The Guardian

The musical Snoopy in London at the Duchess Theatre previewed from 16 September 1983, opened on 20 September 1983 and closed on 11 November 1984