This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows
Previewed 30 June 2008, Opened 15 July 2008, Closed 14 March 2009 at the Garrick Theatre in London
The new musical Zorro in London based on Isabelle Allende's 2005 bestseler 'Zorro: A Novel' and featuring music by the Gipsy Kings.
Zorro is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega, a fictional wealthy caballero and master swordsman living in Spanish California, who defends the people of the land against injustice. This new musical retells the dramatic tale of a romantic hero with extraordinary aerial acrobatics, spectacular sword-fighting and incredible magic - all set to the famous red-hot Gipsy King beat brought to the UK stage with the authentic colours of traditional Flamenco. Zorro the Musical is set in Spanish California in the early 19th century and is inspired by Isabelle Allende's 2005 bestseler 'Zorro: A Novel'. Created in 1919 by pulp writer Johnston McCulley, the iconic character Zorro has been featured in film, live action and animated television series, books, comics and even in a soon to be released Nintendo Wii game.
The cast for Zorro the Musical in London features Matt Rawle as 'Diego / Zorro', Emma Williams as 'Luisa', Adan Levy as 'Ramon', Lesli Margherita as 'Inez', Nick Cavaliere as 'Garcia' and Jonathan Newth as 'Don Alejandro'. Directed by Christopher Renshaw, the production features an original story by Stephen Clark and Helen Edmundson, based on the character created by Johnston McCulley. Music is by Gipsy Kings with book and lyrics by Stephen Clark, music co-composer and musical adaptation by John Cameron, choreography by Rafeal Amargo, set and costume design by Tom Piper, lighting by Ben Ormerod, sound by Mick Potter and musical supervision by Mike Dixon. Zorro the Musical comes into London's West End following a successful UK regional tour.
"Zorro, dilettante by day, daredevil defender of justice by night, was born nearly 90 years ago, the creation of pulpfiction writer Johnston McCulley... The latest incarnation, a concoction by Isabel Allende, Helen Edmundson and Stephen Clark, adds a score from the Gipsy Kings repertoire and throws in a thunderous troop of flamenco dancers to boot. This is a show that brings out the gipsy in Zorro - and everyone else... Christopher Renshaw's production is spirited and spectacular, with illusions that are as breathtaking as the fencing and juggling with blazing torches. But it's also stilted, uncertain whether it wants to play or display, take itself seriously or send itself up... As ragbags go, though, this one's fitfully droll and often stunning." The Mail on Sunday
"The masked avenger is helped in his battle to fight injustice and save the oppressed by a troupe of Spanish gypsies. In a show that is otherwise about as authentically Hispanic as a kiss-me-quick sombrero from Torremolinos, these classically trained, flamenco dancing gitanos provide genuine Spanish fire and blood. Combined with the marvellous music of the Gipsy Kings this makes for a furiously percussive and visually ravishing spectacle, all haughty head-tossing, hand-clapping, skirt-flailing, heel-stamping and Moorish-Romany wailing... Add in plenty of swinging around on ropes, some excellent sword fights, real flames and a couple of jaw-dropping stage illusions, and you have a tequila slammer of a musical. Viva el Zorro!" The Sunday Times
"From the moment a haggard old gipsy emerges from the gloom and sets fire to a vast letter Z hanging at the front of the stage, you suspect you're in for something a) extremely cod, and b) possibly quite fun. Christopher Renshaw's production of the new musical Zorro delivers on both fronts, at once mesmerisingly tacky and irresistibly uplifting... The two things that make this production zing with a capital Z are the gloriously energetic and evocative music by The Gipsy Kings, and the foot-stomping flamenco choreography by Rafael Amargo. Put these together and you get something that is not sophisticated, but which pulses with life and defiant optimism." The Sunday Telegraph
Tonino Baliardos, the Gipsy Kings' lead guitarist said: "We've worked on movies before, but never on a stage musical. There used to be a Zorro TV series we'd watch every Thursday afternoon, and we saw the movie with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, but this is our first musical so it's all brand new for us." Nicolas Reyes from the Gipsy Kings added: "It was a big surprise for us, but we're very happy with it. I think it stays faithful to the image of Zorro and its gipsy spirit, moving from Spain to California. It's funny, the English people working on it get closer to the reality of Zorro than the Hollywood movie did. We wanted to be involved because we think the Gipsy Kings and Zorro make a natural fit."
The director of Zorro the Musical, Christopher Renshaw, on staging the show: "We'd describe a situation and get [The Gipsy Kings] to improvise a melody or a feeling. For instance, for the scene where Louisa is broken-hearted because Zorro won't show his face, they improvised a melody, which we recorded and then wrote down. We'd add a click-track [electronic metronome] so they could pick up the rhythm again, and we'd say 'it needs a middle section', and they could add that in. At the same time, Stephen Clarke started to write the lyrics, and the songs were built up like that... We've been influenced by Isabel Allende, who's one of our producers, but it's not her book: it's our own story we've developed over two or three years. It's quite traditional in that it uses elements of music, dance, fight and 'book'. All those disciplines can tell stories, and it's been fun to mix them up."
Isabel Allende, who wrote the book 'Zorro: A Novel' and is the creative producer for Zorro the Musical on stage said: "A masked lover, a defender of justice, romance, sword fights, family secrets, hidden identities...all the stuff I love in theatre, plus a certain element of magic realism that I use in my novels. Zorro is a real person capable of transforming himself by sheer courage and a sense of fun into a magic hero. I got to know him well when I wrote Zorro: A Novel (2005) about his early years in California... In Zorro The Musical, Stephen Clark's story is propelled by Rafael Amargo's amazing choreography, song and story. His tale was never intended to be a straight adaptation of my Zorro novel. It is an epic family saga, political in nature with strong women, and some magic - everything I write about in my books. Elements of my Diego make their way on to the stage. Making the Gypsies integral to the tale adds a colour and flavour to embellish young Diego's exploits in Barcelona and California... I cannot wait to see this full musical production launched - the illusions created, the costuming, the staging, the pulsating rhythms paired to passionate choreography, the engaging score."
The musical Zorro in London at the Garrick Theatre previewed from 30 June 2008, opened on 15 July 2008 and closed on 14 March 2009.