The first major theatrical adaptation of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, the world-famous story of romance in the face of the Second World War, arrives in the West End.

Based on Louis de Bernières’ best-selling novelCaptain Corelli’s Mandolin is adapted by the award-winning playwright Rona Munro (The James Boys) and the Olivier and Tony Award-nominated director Melly Still. The show received its world premiere at the Rose Theatre Kingston earlier this year, and now returns to strum London’s heartstrings once more.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is set on Cephallonia, an idyllic Greek island where the residents live in peace. Iannis loves the island and his strong-willed daughter Pelagia. Carlo, an Italian solider, discovers love whilst fighting in Albania. Pelagia loves her father and the fisherman Mandras. The young Italian Captain Corelli loves only his music.

But tensions soar when, one morning in 1941, Cephallonia awakens to the sights and sounds of warfare, under the duress of Italian and German occupation, and everything the islanders knew changes. Can love blossom in such unpredictable circumstances?

This new production of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin marks the 25th anniversary of the original novel’s publication in 1994, and is brought to the stage by a strong creative team including set and costume designs by Mayou Trikerioti, lighting design by Malcolm Rippeth, and sound design by Jon Nicholls. The novel, which won the 1995 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize – Overall Winner for Best Book Book of the Year, has previously been adapted into radio plays for BBC Radio 4 and a film version, released in 2001 starring Nicolas Cage, John Hurt, Christian Bale and Penélope Cruz.

Author Louis de Bernières himself has endorsed that play, saying, “I am delighted that this production of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin is moving to the West End. The play is faithful to my story, movingly told, and the direction and acting are superb. It deserves a long run.”

The show stars Alex Mugnaioni as the titular Captain Antonio Corelli, alongside Madison Clare as Pelagia, Joseph Long as Dr Iannis, Ryan Donaldson as Carlo, Ashley Gayle as Mandras and Fred Fergus as Francesco.

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