New X Factor musical given green light for 2014

New X Factor musical given green light for 2014

Updated On: May 1, 2018
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    The Daily Mail reports that the new X Factor show It's Time To Face The Musical! will open at the London Palladium from this time next year. Created by Harry Hill and Steve Brown, the £6 million production - officially titled X Factor — It's Time To Face The Musical! - has been given the go ahead by co-producers SyCo Entertainment, Simon Cowell's company, and State Entertainment.

    Casting is set to begin in May and rehearsals will start after Christmas 2013. The musical will feature 19 new songs and feature both Cowell and Louis Walsh as characters in the show.

    Speaking to the Mail, Rebecca Quigley of Stage Entertainment said, ‘It's going to be quite a wacky big show.’ The Cowell character is said to have a perma-tan and ‘we learn why he wears his trousers high.’

    Describing the Louis character, Harry Hill said, ‘In our show he's basically dozed off; he's an octogenarian boy-band manager.’

    Meanwhile there's also a judge called Geordie, who's a former pop singer from the northeast. Admitting the character combines elements of X Factor judges Cheryl Cole and Tulisa Contostavlos, Hill said, ‘I think Cheryl would laugh a lot at it, because it's silly and fun. The show will at times be scathing, without being cynical.’

    Quigley stressed that her team want the production to be a proper musical in its own right; ‘We didn't want to do something that just appealed to X Factor fans.’ Hill went on to say the show is very different from the newly revamped Viva Forever! at the Piccadilly.

    The story revolves around an 18-year old girl named Chenice who lives in London with her grandfather, who's in an iron lung. Living in a caravan, they know nothing about The X Factor because the iron lung blocks ITV's signal. Quigley stressed that whoever plays Chenice will ‘have to have a killer voice.’

    There's also a young man called Max and Chenice's dog, who addresses the audience directly, like a Greek chorus. After much contention as to what the mutt's name should be (Topshop? Primark?), they've now settled on Poundshop.

    Cowell hasn't interfered in the creative process, simply ‘leaving it to the theatre people’. But Quigley conceded that when it comes to artwork and marketing, ‘I'm sure he's going to have an opinion.’

    The impressive creative team is led by director Sean Foley (Play What I Wrote, What the Butler Saw, The Ladykillers). This year Foley will debut with Royal Shakespeare Company directing Thomas Middleton's A Mad World, My Masters. Set designs will be done by Es Devlin (who designed 2012 Olympics closing ceremony), with lighting by award-winning Hugh Vanstone, music supervision by Gareth Owen and sound by Philip Bateman.

    Kate Prince, founder of hip-hop dance company ZooNation, will be in charge of choreography. An aerial dance workshop is set for May at studios in Bow, East London.

    Alexander Hanson, who took part in earlier workshops as Cowell, will be among those auditioning. Hanson is also attached to the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about Stephen Ward, the man at the centre of the 1960s Profumo scandal, which is also expected to debut next year.

    The deal for the Palladium hasn't been officially signed yet, with the venue currently hosting the celebrated revival of A Chorus Line.

    Stay tuned for further news, cast updates and ticket information X Factor — It's Time To Face The Musical!