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Emma Williams and Michael Xavier will star in West End´s LOVE STORY

The Chichester Festival Theatre production of LOVE STORY will transfer to the West End previewing at the Duchess Theatre from 27 November, with press night on 6 December 2010.

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After being presented in the Chichester Festival Theatre last June, LOVE STORY will arribe at West End’s Duchess Theatre this Fall. It will begin previews next 27th November, with press night on 6 December 2010.

The West End cast of LOVE STORY includes Emma Williams as Jenny, Michael Xavier as Oliver Barratt IV and Peter Polycarpou who plays Jenny’s father, Phil, all of whom reprise their roles at the Duchess Theatre. They are joined by Richard Cordery, Gary Milner, Paul Kemble and ensemble members Lillie Flynn, Christopher Killick, Jamie Muscato and Rebecca Trehearn.

This new musical version of LOVE STORY, inspired by Erich Segal’s novel, is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, with music by Howard Goodall, book by Stephen Clark and lyrics by Stephen Clark and Howard Goodall. LOVE STORY is designed by Peter McKintosh, with lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound designer Matt McKenzie, musical direction by Stephen Ridley and musical staging is by Lizzi Gee.

LOVE STORY, which is produced in the West End by Michael Ball, Adam Spiegel and Stephen Waley-Cohen, is currently booking until 26 February 2011.

Olivier award nominated Emma Williams, made her West End debut as Truly Scrumptious in the original cast of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, when she co-starred with LOVE STORY Producer Michael Ball. Subsequently she has been seen on stage in DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN at the Novello Theatre in which she played the title role, ZORRO at the Garrick Theatre, A MODEL GIRL for Greenwich Theatre and TOMORROW MORNING for the New End Theatre. She starred opposite Bryn Terfel as Johanna in SWEENEY TODD at the Royal Festival Hall and in 2009 she appeared as a guest singer in Michael Ball’s 25th anniversary concert tour. Her film and television credits include ‘Heartbeat’, ‘Where the Heart Is’, ‘Bleak House’ and ‘Cosi’.

Michael Xavier was last seen as Wolf and Cinderella’s Prince in INTO THE WOODS at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre earlier this year. Previously his many musical theatre credits include Curly in OKLAHOMA for Chichester Festival Theatre, Sir Galahad in SPAMALOT at the Palace Theatre, Raoul in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Freddy in MY FAIR LADY at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and Sky in MAMMA MIA! on tour nationally.

Peter Polycarpou’s extensive theatre credits include Ebenezer Scrooge in A CHRISTMAS CAROL for Birmingham Rep, Cheche in ‘Anna in the Tropics’ and Comical Ali/God/Osama Bin Laden in ‘Follow My Leader’ for Hampstead Theatre and Oscar Maddison in ‘The Odd Couple’ and Roy Cohn in ‘Angels in America’ both for Manchester Library Theatre. He also played the title role in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Her Majesty’s Theatre, The Childcatcher in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at the London Palladium, Thenardier in LES MISÉRABLES for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Ali Hakim in OKLAHOMA!  for the National Theatre. On television his credits include ‘The Last Days of Lehman Brothers’, ‘Waking the Dead’, ‘Birds of a Feather’, ‘Sunburn’, ‘Talk Greek’ and ‘American Voices’. His film credits include ‘O Jerusalem’, DE-LOVELY, OKLAHOMA! EVITA, ‘Julie and the Cadillacs’ and ‘Mad George’.

Emmy, Brit and BAFTA award-winning Howard Goodall is one of the UK’s most versatile and distinguished composers having written choral music, stage musicals, film and TV scores. Goodall was appointed as England´s first ever National Ambassador for Singing, he is the Classical Brit Composer of the Year and Classic FM´s Composer-in-Residence and a highly respected broadcaster and an energetic campaigner for music education. His extensive scores include Q.I., Blackadder, The Vicar of Dibley, The Gathering Storm, The Borrowers, The Catherine Tate Show, Mr Bean, Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie, Mr Bean´s Holiday and Blackadder. Previously his musical theatre compositions include THE HIRED MAN, GIRLFRIENDS, DAYS OF HOPE, CATWALK, THE KISSING DANCE and THE DREAMING.

Stephen Clark’s work includes Mahabharata for Sadler’s Wells, The Far Pavilions at the Shaftesbury Theatre, the Laurence Olivier award-winning MARTIN GUERRE at the Prince Edward, La Traviata for English National Opera and ZORRO at the Garrick Theatre and Folies Bergère, Paris.

LOVE STORY is directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre where her many credits include Hapgood, Peter Pan - A Musical Adventure and Uncle Vanya as well as David Hare’s Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges and The Absence Of War. Her other theatre credits include The Music Man starring Brian Conley and A Small Family Business for Chichester Festival Theatre, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Alice in Wonderland for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Hilda for Hampstead Theatre and The Rivals for Bristol Old Vic. 

Michael Ball makes his producing debut with LOVE STORY. His many West End credits include originating the role of Edna Turnblad in HAIRSPRAY, produced by Adam Spiegel, and for which he won the Laurence Olivier and WhatsOnStage Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. He can currently be seen on tour in the UK reprising the role of Edna. His other theatre roles include Marius in LES MISÉRABLES, Giorgio in Stephen Sondheim’s PASSION, Raoul in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Alex in ASPECTS OF LOVE, Caractacus Potts in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and Count Fosco in THE WOMAN IN WHITE in the West End and on Broadway.  He made his English National Opera debut as Hajj/Poet in Kismet and in 2005 he made his debut with the New York City Opera as Reginald Bunthrone in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Patience.  As well as his Sunday Brunch for BBC Radio, he has recently presented a new series for ITV, The Michael Ball Show, which finished in September.  His 15 solo albums have all achieved gold or platinum status and his discography includes: Michael Ball, Always, One Careful Owner, First Love, The Musicals, The Movies, Music, One Voice and the superb homage to Burt Bacharach, Michael Ball - Back To Bacharach.

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