Dir. Jonathan Kent/Theatre Royal Haymarket London/2008/Assistant Choreographer to Arthur Pita.
Marguerite was produced internationally by Marguerite Productions, The Theatre Royal Haymarket Company and Bob Boyett.
Marguerite is a new musical with book by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Jonathan Kent and music by Michel Legrand.
Marguerite is loosely based on The Lady of the Camellias (La Dame aux Camélias) by Alexandre Dumas, fils. It’s one of the greatest romantic novels in the world and is the story that also inspired Verdi’s opera La Traviata. But this time the story is set during the Second World War, at the time of the Nazi occupation and the dark hours of the French collaboration. Marguerite, the heroine, is the beautiful and notorious mistress of a high ranking German officer, Otto. A young jazz musician, Armand, falls obsessively in love with her and their love story is played out amidst the excitements and dangers of occupied Paris.
"Why should we sympathise with a collaborator? That question haunted me through this new Michel Legrand musical inspired by La Dame Aux Camélias and set during the German occupation of Paris. It is highly efficient, visually deft and moves rapidly; but the death of its mythic heroine left me stonily unmoved … One particular number, Day by Day, set to skilful lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer, is repeated four times to show how the attitudes of Paris’s smart set to the Germans shifted from willing collaboration to fierce denunciation … Ruthie Henshall, passionate in red velvet, is a dynamic Marguerite … The show brings the Haymarket season to an impressively staged climax." (Michael Billington, The Guardian)