NEWS: Kneehigh heads for West End with The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Kneehigh will return to the West End with a new adaptation of Michel Legrand’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg following their 2008 production of Brief Encounter which enjoyed a sell-out season at the Haymarket Cinema and has subsequently toured nationally and internationally. 

Emma Rice will direct and adapt this new version which will open at the Curve Leicester for a short run in February 2011 before transferring to the West End in the Spring. With lyrics translated by Sheldon Harnick, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg will be designed by Lez Brotherston, with lighting by Malcolm Rippeth, sound by Simon Baker and musical supervision by Nigel Lilley. Kneehigh’s much anticipated return to the West End will be produced by Daniel Sparrow and Mike Walsh Productions, Curve Leicester and in association with City Lights Productions. 

Booking opens for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg at Curve, Leicester on 16 September for performances from 11 – 26 February 2011. West End dates and casting will be announced shortly. 

Twenty year old French auto mechanic Guy Fouchier has fallen in love with 17-year-old Geneviève Emery, an employee in her widowed mother’s chic umbrella shop. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of combat in Algeria, he and Geneviève vow to remain lovers. After discovering she is carrying Guy’s child she and must choose between waiting for his return or accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant. 

The critically acclaimed classic film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, directed by Jacques Demy, was released in 1964 starring a 19 year old Catherine Deneuve. The film went on to be nominated for five Academy Awards and then won the 1964 Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival. The Academy Award nominated I Will Wait for You, one of the songs featured in the film, has subsequently been recorded by many artists including Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett and Liza Minelli. 

Oscar winning composer, arranger, conductor and pianist Michel Legrand has composed over 200 film scores including The Thomas Crown Affair and Summer of ‘42 as well as several musicals including The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Yentl which have won him three Oscars and five Grammys. He was 22 when his first album, I Love Paris, became one of the best-selling instrumental albums ever released. His albums now number over 100 spanning jazz, musical theatre, variety and classical styles on which he has worked with Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Jack Jones, Regine Velasquez, Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Como, Lena Horne, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, James Ingram, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand and many other leading musicians. 

As Artistic Director of Kneehigh Emma Rice has directed Brief Encounter at the Haymarket Cinema and successive national and international tour, Pandora’s Box in a coproduction with Northern Stage, The Red Shoes for which she won the Best Director 2002 Barclays TMA Awards, The Wooden Frock on tour in the UK, The Bacchae for which she won the TMA Best Touring Production 2005, Tristan & Yseult and Nights at the Circus for the Lyric Hammersmith, Cymbeline in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company for the Complete Works Festival and A Matter of Life and Death for the National Theatre. 

Dates 11 – 26 February 2011
Tickets on sale from 16 September 2010
Place Curve, 60 Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1SB
Box Office 0116 242 3595


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