The Bodyguard’s Ben Richards will return to musical theatre to star in the European premiere of Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater’s Some Lovers at the upcoming From Page to Stage Summer Festival at The Other Palace.
Richards [pictured left] will be one of four actors cast to play two characters, Ben and Molly, caught between the past and the present. The actor, who starred in West End productions of The Bodyguard and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, will be joined by Gemma Wardle (Betty Blue Eyes, Les Misérables in the West End, pictured below) as the older Ben and Molly. The characters’ younger selves will be played by recent graduate Aaron Kavanagh and Jenna Innes (Animus, Bridewell Theatre).
Following on from an industry-only workshop reading of the show at the Southwark Playhouse in February, Some Lovers is due to be the fully-produced main house production presented at this year’s event.
Music legend Bacharach’s second original musical which was written with Tony and Grammy award-winning Sater, will run for just 12 performances during Aria Entertainment’s annual event which runs from 24 August until 2 September.
Bacharach’s first new score for the theatre since Promises, Promises in 1968, Some Lovers was described as a ‘Valentine to New York’ when it made its debut in San Diego nearly six years ago.
Inspired by O. Henry’s short story The Gift of the Magi, the show is a love story set over a 20-year period.
Describing Some Lovers, Sater says: “Love songs – that’s what I write. Burt and I had just written our first song together; and some months and any number of songs later I came to recognise how distinct our songs were from those ubiquitous pop anthems of young love.
“Ours seemed invariably to express a sort of disaffection, a disappointment, a dark joy, or the renewed determination of a more mature, mid-relationship romance. One day, in the heat of July in Los Angeles, as Burt and I laboured away on a Christmas song, I thought: what if we revisited that Depression era classic story, The Gift of the Magi? What became of those young Christmas lovers 20 years after their happily ever after? And that was the beginning of Some Lovers.”
Bacharach adds: “Writing songs with Steven has been a different process for me because most of the time it’s the lyrics that come first and then I set them to music. Steven is a very musical lyric writer and it is always a pleasure to take his lyrics with consummate ease and set them and feel very good about the result.”
Produced in association with Senbla, Some Lovers features a creative team that includes director Katherine Hare, musical director Jordan Li-Smit, choreographer Philip Thomas, designer Nik Corrall, lighting designer James Smith and sound designer Chris Bogg.
Aria Entertainment has also confirmed the cast of West End performers lined-up to appear in You Know How to Love Me – A Charles Miller Celebration which will play the Studio on the 18 and 19 August.
Carolyn Maitland (Ghost, Miss Saigon), Oliver Tompsett (Guys and Dolls, We Will Rock You), Shona White (Mamma Mia, Wicked) and Miranda Wilford (Remembering Fred, Thriller Live!) will appear alongside musical director David Randall on piano and Sarah Bowler on cello. The show will be co-produced by Guy James.
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