Emma Williams, Michael Xavier and Peter Polycarpou will star in Love Story at the Duchess theatre when the musical opens later this year. The show won a West End transfer after premiering at Chichester Festival Theatre where the trio originated their roles.
Love Story, which is produced by Michael Ball, Adam Spiegel and Stephen Waley-Cohen, is based on Erich Segal’s best selling novel which was made into a popular film starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal in 1970. The musical tells the story of two college graduates from different worlds. He was rich, she was poor. He was sporty, she played music. But the pair fall in love and embark on a life together.
Williams’s West End debut was in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, with Love Story’s co-producer Ball starring alongside her in the production. Since then, the actress has been nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in Zorro at the Garrick theatre and has been seen in productions including Desperately Seeking Susan and Sweeney Todd. Her screen credits include Heartbeat, Where The Heart Is, Bleak House and Cosi.
Xavier stars as Jenny’s (Williams) partner Oliver Barratt IV. The actor’s most recent role was at the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre this summer starring in Sondheim’s Into The Woods. A regular on the London stage, his musical theatre credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Phantom Of The Opera, My Fair Lady and Mamma Mia!
Playing Jenny’s father is Polycarpou. His extensive theatre credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium), Imagine This (New London theatre), The Phantom Of The Opera (Her Majesty’s theatre), Oklahoma! (National Theatre) and Les Misérables for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Polycarpou is also well known for his screen work and has appeared on television in Birds Of A Feather, Waking The Dead, The Last Days Of Lehman and films including O Jerusalem, Oklahoma!, Evita and Mad George.
Joining the leading trio on stage are Richard Cordery, Gary Milner, Paul Kemble, Lillie Flynn, Christopher Killick, Jamie Muscato and Rebecca Trehearn.
Love Story is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, has music by Howard Goodall, book by Stephen Clark and lyrics by Clark and Howard Goodall.
The show opens on 6 December, with previews from 27 November, and is currently booking until 26 February 2011. Making way for Love Story is Krapp’s Last Tape which plays at the venue until 20 November.