The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

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

Previewed 5 March 2011, Opened 22 March 2011, Closed 21 May 2011 at the Gielgud Theatre in London

Kneehigh Theatre present the musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in London starring Joanna Riding and Meow Meow along with Carly Bawden as 'Genevieve' and Andrew Durand as 'Guy'. Based on Jacques Demy's 1964 film featuring a score by Michel Legrand, adapted for the stage by Emma Rice.

"I don't want to rain on the parade of The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg - there's much to enjoy in this often spectacularly well-staged show - but I wish director Emma Rice had allowed this enchanting story to speak for itself. Once you get to Rice's adaptation of Jacques Demy's magical 1964 film, with a score by Michel Legrand, nothing can stop the romance and the marvellous melodies sweeping you away. But first you have to endure a gratuitous warm-up act by cabaret artiste Meow Meow... There's a problem with the move from screen to stage in that it is impossible not to miss the matchless fairytale perfection of Catherine Deneuve in the role of 17-year-old Genevieve, whose love affair with gorgeous Guy, the car mechanic, is tested when military service sends him to the French-Algerian War. Carly Bawden's Genevieve and Andrew Durand's Guy both sing well, but neither has that breathtaking dreamboat quality... Still, Legrand's rich, complex, playful score - magnificently played here - never fails to ravish and transport, as it always has and always will." The Mail on Sunday

"Kneehigh Theatre's stage version of Jacques Demy''s much-loved 1964 film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is introduced bya new character, Maitresse. And she is by far the best reason to see it. Played by the cabaret artiste Meow Meow, she completely and effortlessly steals the show. Her opening 10 minutes consist of an introductory lecture on Cherbourg , and of all the introductory lectures on Cherbourg that you will ever hear, this must surely be the most voluptuously, hip-wigglingly delivered... The story is girl-meets-boy (who works in a garage and sings about spark plugs). They have sex, then he goes away to the war in Algeria (it's 1957). She finds she's pregnant, he doesn't write, so she marries someone else. He comes back. And... well, let's leave a little suspense, although you won't exactly be on the edge of your seat by this time. It's a punishingly dull, emotionally flat and utterly uninvolving tale of two noncharacters trapped in a non-story. The two leads, Carly Bawden as Genevieve and Andrew Durand as Guy, have no charisma or chemistry, Michel Legrand's loosely jazzy score soon becomes repetitive, and the singing of every single line of dialogue is artificial." The Sunday Times

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in London at the Gielgud Theatre previewed from 5 March 2011, opened on 22 March 2011 and closed on 21 May 2011 (was originaly booking up to 1 October 2011).