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The St James Theatre reinvents itself as The Other Palace
The first season of new musicals at The Other Palace, formerly the St James Theatre, has been announced. The venue will officially open its doors in February 2017, and aims to be a home and breeding ground for musicals at various stages of development.
The Other Palace has been taken over by Andrew Lloyd Webber and The Really Useful Theatre Group who will focus on four key areas: programming, creative use of spaces, musical theatre development and audience engagement.
The season will open with the previously announced London premiere of LaChiusa's The Wild Party, which runs from 11 February to 1 April 2017, with an official opening on 20 February 2017.
The second production in the season will be new musical Whisper House featuring music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Kyle Jarrow. Conceived with Keith Powell is is described as a "dark and thrilling musical ghost story" and comes from the Tony Award-winning composer of Spring Awakening and American Psycho. It will run from 6 April to 27 May 2017.
"An eerie lighthouse stands on the remote East Coast of America at the height of World War II. When Christopher’s father’s plane is shot down, he is sent to live there with an Aunt he has never met and her mysterious Japanese housekeeper. Soon, he begins to hear strange music seeping through the walls. Is his imagination getting the better of him, or are the ghosts warning of real danger? Soon the whispers become something louder…"
This will be followed by the premiere of new musical La Strada based on the subject and script work by Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano and Tullio Pinelli which runs from 30 May to 8 July 2017.
Adapted and directed by Olivier Award nominee Sally Cookson it features a score by Benji Bower, based on the 1957 Academy Award-winning film by Federico Fellini.
"The story of wide-eyed Gelsomina, who is sold by her penniless mother to Zampano, a travelling sideshow strongman, unfolds as they journey through the Italian countryside performing for their keep. Their perilous road trip leads them to a ragtag travelling circus where they meet Il Matto the tightrope walker who rekindles Gelsomina’s spirit with a new found confidence."
The season continues with a new musical for ages 7+ featuring magic and innovative puppetry. Perfect Pitch will produce The Little Beasts from 13 to 29 July 2017.
"This dark and imaginatively comic musical follows a selfish little girl who runs away from home and discovers a magical menagerie filled with animals that used to be children before their naughtiness brought them to untimely ends. When the menagerie’s menacing proprietor tasks her to choose one animal to set free, she must decide which one, if any, has learned its lesson. But things are not what they seem, and is any child truly naughty?"
The National Youth Music Theatre will present new musical Imaginary from 9 - 12 August 2017 and Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George from 16-19 August 2017.
The Other Palace will continue to programme full productions, work in progress productions and festivals of new work. The downstairs studio space will be available for composers, librettists, lyricists, directors and choreographers to discover and create new material as well as offering a diverse programme including cabaret, music, musical theatre and crossover acts.