Posted on February 22, 2007 at 10:08 pm

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The musical Parade is coming to London, where it will receive its West End premiere at the Donmar Warehouse. The production will be directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford and will open on 24 September following previews from 14 September. Also on the Donmar’s summer slate are revivals of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, directed by Roger Michell (as previously reported), and a bill of absurdist plays by N.F. Simpson and Michael Frayn, to be presented under the umbrella title Absurdia and directed by Douglas Hodge, who is a newly appointed associate director of the theatre.

Parade, which opened on Broadway in 1998, won Tony Awards in 1999 for both Best Book (by Alfred Uhry) and Best Original Musical Score (for Jason Robert Brown’s music and lyrics). Based on the true story of Leo Frank who was convicted of the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan, the musical is set in Atlanta, Georgia in 1913, where a Jewish man from Brooklyn finds himself accused of killing a young factory worker. Parade recalls the press frenzy and public hated surrounding the trial. In a time of religious intolerance, political injustice and racial tension, the musical explores the endurance of love and hope against all the odds.

Ashford, who collaborated with the Donmar’s Artistic Director Michael Grandage on both the Donmar production of Guys and Dolls in the West End and on national tour, as well as the current West End staging of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Evita, is making his directorial debut with Parade. He is currently working on the new John Kander and Fred Ebb musical Curtains, opening on Broadway in April. No casting has been announced yet for Parade, which will run to 24 November.

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