Kneehigh's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg has certainly made a life-long celebrity friend of Liza Minnelli, who once recorded a version of the screen-to-stage musical's Oscar-winning song "I Will Wait for You".
Having attended the press night for Michel Legrand's 1964 French film adaptation on 22 March (previews from 5 March), she recently returned to meet the cast and have cabaret star Meow Meow show her how to dance "Di Gue Ding Ding".
Adapted and directed by Kneehigh artistic director Emma Rice with a translation by Sheldon Harnick The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is "a French romance that just happens to be sung". The production's cast includes two-time Olivier Award winner Joanna Riding alongside Carly Bawden and Andrew Durand as romantic leads Genevieve and Guy.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg transferred to the West End following a try-out run at Leicester's Curve Theatre. It was announced last week that the show will close on 21 May 2011, cutting short what had initially been billed as a 30-week season at the Gielgud Theatre.
- by Andrew Girvan