Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lloyd Webber Rewrites for Canadian Cast

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton are revising The Beautiful Game (2000) with plans to bring it across the pond.

This time around, it will be The Boys in the Photograph (2009) because, as Elton remembers the original 11-month London run, "people thought they were coming to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's soccer musical and it's no more about soccer than My Fair Lady is about flower sellers."

It's about a soccer team in Belfast, Ireland, that is composed of both Protestants and Catholics. Set in 1969, the musical explores how the boys are affected by the severe political and religious tensions around them as they grow up.

"It really doesn't matter what [they're playing]," says Elton, who wrote and directed We Will Rock You (2007), currently at the Canon Theatre.

In a remote interview with Richard Ouzounian, "Elton estimates 15 per cent of the actual material will be changed, but he claims that 'the show will be 50 per cent different in terms of atmosphere and impact.'"

Apparently, "people came thinking it was about soccer and left thinking it was about terrorism and neither of those things were true."

Once revamped, The Boys in the Photograph (2009) will rehearse at the Manitoba Theatre Centre with a "100% Canadian" cast and creative team.

It is expected to open in Winnipeg in April 2009, run through May, and then transfer to the Canon Theatre in Toronto in June.

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