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Monday 09 May 2011

After years of rumours and a few smaller independent productions that never quite broke through to the big time, it looks like the Kylie Minogue musical is finally, officially, underway.  After the smash hit successes of We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia and Thriller Live! a musical based on the diminutive pop princess' back catalogue has often been rumoured.  Speaking to the Irish Echo Minogue has now confirmed the thrilling news that plans are afoot.  "It's definitely happening" she says.  "We've brought a scriptwriter in and are working on a few synopses.  And the critics…music critics are one thing but theatre critics are something else.  I suppose if it doesn't work then that's it - it's a closed book."


Minogue is right to be wary.  The long-mooted Madonna musical looked like it was going to come together when a musical production of her hit 1985 film Desperately Seeking Susan came to fruition.  Critics and audiences were left confused however when the final version instead featured songs by Eighties band Blondie and the show tanked, closing just thirteen days after it's opening night and losing over £3.5 million.  Rosie O'Donnell was so impressed with Boy George's musical Taboo, loosely based on his own early life, that she financially backed it's Broadway transfer.  Scathing reviews meant it closed after 100 performances and O'Donnell reportedly lost all of her $10 million investment.

The Locomotion singer is working on her musical with long time stylist, creative director and friend William Baker which should be a savvy move.  The two have worked well together for years with Baker progressing from designing clothes for her appearances and tours to working on her KylieX2008 tour and directing Leona Lewis' critically acclaimed tour The Labyrinth.  This year he directed burlesque extravaganza The Hurly Burly show at the Garrick Theatre which was well received.  Talking to the Irish Echo Baker revealed "We're both working on the Kylie musical, using all her songs, which will hopefully be done next year some time.  I can't wait!"

Kylie Minogue has accumulated worldwide record sales of over 60 million since her 1987 Australian debut covering Little Eva's Locomotion, swiftly followed by the first of her Stock Aitken and Waterman penned hits, I Should Be So Lucky, which spent 5 weeks at number one in the UK.   She dominated the charts over the following years with classic hits such as Got To Be Certain, Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi, Hand On Your Heart, Better The Devil You Know and Confide In Me.  A brief fall from public favour in the late nineties was turned around in 2000 with comeback single Spinning Around, ironically written by similarly pint-sized pop singer Paula Abdul and intended to reboot her own career.  Her next album Fever produced Minogue's biggest hit, the Cathy Dennis-penned global smash Can't Get You Out Of My Head, and subsequent hits included Love At First Sight, Slow, I Believe in You and Wow.  Her most recent album Aphrodite was a dazzling confection of pop treats but performed lower than expectations after ill-advised single choices.  Minogue herself has since complained of a lack of backing by her record label.

The last decade has seen Minogue's passion move into touring, receiving plaudits for her ambitious and imaginative stage sets and high quality production values.  It is no wonder then that she feels the time is now right to bring her body of work to the stage in a musical format.  Kylie's sister Dannii, whose winning turn as a judge on the X Factor has warmed UK's hearts to her, is no stranger to the West End herself having appeared as Esmerelda in Notre-Dame de Paris at the Dominion Theatre in 2001.  Hmmm, Dannii Minogue in a Kylie Minogue musical?  Now that's something we'd love to see!

Posted by James [09/05/2011]

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