The wait is finally over. Next week Tim Rice’s new musical From Here To Eternity officially opens at the West End’s Shaftesbury Theatre.
Here are five reasons why we’re excited about FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, which is currently in previews prior to opening on 23rd October 2013.
1. Tim Rice
Tim Rice is one of the most famous and successful British lyricists of all time. Rice is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber. Together they wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, as well as additional songs for the 2011 West End revival of The Wizard of Oz. Some of his other popular shows include The Lion King and Chess. Rice has awards coming out of his ears having won an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award. From Here To Eternity marks Rice’s first new West End show for a decade and he has spoken about his excitement for the musical which has seen him team up with Stuart Brayson (music) and Bill Oakes (book).
2. The Cast
An experienced cast of West End favourites have been assembled to originate the roles. The most well-known cast member is probably Pop Idol star Darius Campbell. In recent years Campbell has been seen in Chicago, Guys and Dolls and Gone With The Wind. The cast also features: Siubhan Harrison (Grease), Robert Lonsdale (Anna Christie, Donmar Warehouse), Ryan Sampson (Open Court, Royal Court) and Rebecca Thornhill (South Pacific).
3. The Novel
From Here To Eternity was originally a novel. Published in 1951, From Here to Eternity marked James Jones’ debut novel and proved incredibly successful and is still often referred to as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. From Here To Eternity is loosely based on Jones’ experiences in the pre-World War II Hawaiian Division’s 27th Infantry and the unit in which he served. The book won Jones the National Book Award for fiction in 1952.
4. The Film
In 1953 From Here To Eternity was adapted into a film starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra. With a gross of $30.5 million equating to earnings of $12.2 million, From Here to Eternity was one of the ten highest-grossing films of the decade. A scorching success, the film won seven Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and three New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
5. Progress In Previews
The musical has been in previews for a while now and sources claim that the creative team are working the cast hard to tweak the show to ensure it dazzles critics and theatre-goers alike when it officially opens next week. It’s always brave when a new show opens straight in the West End, without a regional try-out first. Therefore it’s important that previews are used wisely. The cast have certainly been put through their paces; producers have released many videos featuring the guys being put through an intensive training regime to prepare for their roles.