Boublil and Schoenberg Revising MARTIN GUERRE for Potential London 2024 Run

Paul Hodge, who wrote Clinton: The Musical, is helping with the rewrite.

By: Sep. 17, 2022
Boublil and Schoenberg Revising MARTIN GUERRE for Potential London 2024 Run
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According to an interview with The Age, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schoenberg are currently revising Martin Guerre for a potential London run in 2024. Paul Hodge, who wrote Clinton: The Musical, is helping with the rewrite. Original producer Cameron Mackintosh has returned the rights to the creators and will not be involved.

Boublil says, "Claude-Michel has come up with some unexpected music that would not have been in Martin Guerre 15 years ago and I have come up with, I hope, some new psychology and new ideas."

Martin Guerre is a two-act musical with a book by Claude-Michel Schoenberg and Alain Boublil, lyrics by Alain Boublil and Stephen Clark, and music by Claude-Michel Schoenberg. Written in the operatic style similar to the creative team's previous efforts, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, the bulk of the show is sung-through, with little spoken dialogue between the musical numbers. It failed to match the box office success of its two predecessors. After the original West End run concluded in 1998, the show was completely revised for a UK tour from 1998-1999. The show then embarked on US tour in 1999 with the goal of transferring to Broadway, which never happened. The show has gone through numerous rewrites since, resulting in a revised production at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, England in 2007. Another major production has yet to be mounted.

Loosely based on the real-life historical figure Martin Guerre and the 1982 film The Return of Martin Guerre he inspired, the story is set in early modern France in the anti-Protestant town of Artigat, where young Martin Guerre is forced into an arranged marriage with Bertrande de Rols in order to produce a Catholic heir. Martin is unsatisfied with the marriage, complicated by the fact that a childhood friend, Guillaume, is secretly in love with Bertrande.

About Alain Boublil

Alain Boublil's first musical, La Révolution Française, was the first ever staged French rock opera in 1973 in Paris and the start of his collaboration with composer Claude-Michel Schönberg. Their next show, Les Misérables, opened in Paris in 1980 and played there again in 1991 after having in the meantime opened in most of the world's major cities starting in London in 1985, produced by Cameron Mackintosh.

Miss Saigon opened in London in 1989 and later in New York, playing for more than ten years in each city, and has won numerous international awards. Martin Guerre followed and won the 1997 Olivier Award for Best Musical before commencing its USA tour. In 2007, it was revived in a critically acclaimed sell-out production in the UK with actors/musicians on stage.

On his own, Alain wrote the fairytale musical Abbacadabra (1984) based on Abba songs, which played in London in 1985. He also wrote the play The Diary of Adam and Eve, based on two short stories by Mark Twain, and a prize-winning novel, Les dessous de soi. In 2003, in collaboration with Michel Legrand, Alain wrote the stage adaptation of Jacques Demy's film Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, including some new songs, which played in Paris in 2003-04.

Alain and Claude-Michel's musical The Pirate Queen, based on the true story of the 16th-century Irish heroine Grace O'Malley, in the time of Elizabeth I, played in Chicago and on Broadway in 2006 and 2007. Alain and Claude-Michel's new show, Marguerite, based on The Lady of the Camellias, with music by Michel Legrand and English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, is a highly romantic love story set in Nazi-occupied Paris during the Second World War. It had its world premiere at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, in May 2008.

About Claude-Michel Schönberg

Born in 1944 of Hungarian parents, Claude-Michel Schönberg began his career as a singer, writer and producer of popular songs. He wrote the musical score of La Révolution Française (1973), Les Misérables (1980-85), Miss Saigon (1989) and Martin Guerre (1996). He has also supervised overseas productions of Les Misérables and Miss Saigon and co-produced several international cast albums of his three shows.

In 2001, he composed his first ballet score, Wuthering Heights, which was created by the Northern Ballet in 2002. The Pirate Queen, which opened on Broadway in 2007, is his sixth complete score. Marguerite, Claude-Michel's collaboration with Alain Boublil, Michel Legrand and Herbert Kretzmer, opened in May 2008 at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. In 2003, Claude-Michel Schönberg married the English ballerina Charlotte Talbot. He is the father of one son and two daughters.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride