Cornish theatre company Kneehigh is to return to the West End next spring with a new stage production of Michel Legrand’s 1964 musical film The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg.
Though dates and venue have not yet been confirmed for the West End transfer, the show will premiere at the Curve in Leicester in February 2011 prior to London.
Les Parapluies De Cherbourg, to give it its original French title, won the Palme D’Or on its 1964 premiere and went on to be nominated for five Oscars. The romantic film, which is almost entirely sung-through, stars a young Catherine Deneuve as Geneviève, a shop girl who falls in love with Guy, a car mechanic. On the evening before Guy is to leave for a two-year tour of duty in Algeria, he and Geneviève vow to remain lovers. But after discovering she is carrying Guy’s child, Geneviève must choose between waiting for his return and accepting an offer of marriage from a wealthy diamond merchant.
Legrand’s score contains the famous song I Will Wait For You, which has since been recorded by artists including Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett and Liza Minelli.
The legendary composer has written the music for over 200 film scores, while his work in theatre includes the Tony Award-nominated musical Amour, which played on Broadway in 2000, and Marguerite, which premiered at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2008.
Kneehigh’s new production of The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg is adapted and directed by the company’s Artistic Director, Emma Rice. The company was last seen in London with its stage adaptation of the film Brief Encounter at the Cinema Haymarket, which was specially adapted to accommodate the production. Brief Encounter was nominated for a Best Entertainment Laurence Olivier Award in 2009.