The play that was once the favorite of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and that won four Tony Awards is back into the theatrical scene with an all-star cast and staff. It was last featured thirty years ago and has returned into the major leagues in a revamped version. Read on to find out why you should not miss this historic event.
The Original Play
It was originally written by Alan Jay Lerner based on the novel by T.H, White called The Once and Future King. Besides Lerner´s book and lyrics, it featured the music of Frederick Loewe. It tells the story of the love affair between the queen Guenevere and Lancelot, a Knight of the Round Table of King Arthur. The original production was spawned in 1960 and went on to have an astonishing 873 performances in Broadway that granted producers four Tony Awards. It also gave out a best-selling LP that was in number one of sales for the US for 60 weeks and a movie called Camelot too from 1967.
After the premier in December of 1960 and two successful years of being in the marquee in Broadway and several actor changes, the company embarked in a 2-year local US tour. Also, parallel to the tour in the US, a London edition premiered on August 1964 and an Australian incarnation in October 1963, both with huge acclaim.
The New Incarnation
After more than thirty years of not dressing the Broadway marquee, Camelot is back and the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is to be told once again. The storyline opens up the emotional dilemma that king Arthur faces with one of his most trusted men, Lancelot. This is not an easy role to play since the singing voice of the main actor has to portray the inner battle that the king undergoes. That important task and many others are perfectly handled by the former Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Miserables David Thaxton, who recently also won an Olivier Award. The role of the deceiving wide is played by no other than Wicked actress Savannah Stevenson and the third in discord, Knight Lancelot by the opera star with a huge international career, Mozart´s Requiem Charles Rice.
Following the three starring roles, the former Jeckyll & Hyde Sam Swann will play Mordred and the We Will Rock You actor Clive Carter will do Merlyn as well as Pellinore. This double task can prove to be quite a challenge but also a well-deserved recognition for an actor who has quite an impressive resume, as he does.
On the musical side of the spectacle, none other than The London Musical Theatre Orchestra will be present under the conduction of Freddie Tapner, the group´s founder and main director. He has stated to the media that he is “extraordinarily excited” of being a part of the event and having his orchestra performing at the luxurious London Palladium for such a significant play. He was specifically thrilled he could bring the music of the group around the voice of Charles Rice, who he referred as an opera star. He also foresaw that all theatre fans will fall in love with the actor and singer´s voice such as they did. He qualified the event as “glorious”.
Premier Of Bat Out of Hell
While the premier of Bat Out of Hell was one of the highlights of the year for London´s theatre fans, the story of King Arthur´s debacle in the hands of Lancelot and Guinevere can even top that. The music side of the play is well more than covered, the cast is filled with theatre super stars and the direction is in the hands of widely experimented but not so well-known Shaun Kerrison. The combo promises to be up to the original play that was last represented in the West End more than thirty years ago or even top that great memory.
If you are one of the lucky attendees, please leave us a comment about your own impressions of the play, we would love to read it!