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Phil Willmott

New Musical SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE to open in September. (Or will It?)

Sleepless Producer Michael Rose’s last show in the West End, BIG at the Dominion Theatre, turned out to be a massive flop but it seems we need not have feared for his future.

Producer Michael Rose’s last show in the West End, BIG at the Dominion Theatre, turned out to be a massive flop but it seems we need not have feared for his future.

Rose is bouncing back with what could be one of the first live post-covid productions in London. But I'm sceptical. He’s about to open a new musical based on the film SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE which he hopes to open with a socially distanced audience in August.

A musical? Ssssh! Hopefully no one will tell the authorities who currently believe that singing in public could risk the health of both performers and listeners based on a number of Covid-19 outbreaks amongst choirs. 

What’s more we’re promised a 12-piece orchestra! How do you socially distance 12 musicians? You’d need an orchestra pit the size of a tennis court. 

Less controversially it will star Jay McGuiness and Kimberley Walsh who also starred, to little effect at the box-office, in BIG. It’s to play Troubadour’s Wembley Park Theatre in September, pending “government guidance on the reopening of theatres.”

Let’s keep positive but that government guidance could be the very thing that tips SLEEPLESS into a coma.

Anyway, hopefully it’ll all kick off with a special gala night on August 27 for NHS and care workers, who will be allowed “up to four free tickets on a first come first-served basis.”

What a clever idea of Rose’s. That should deflect bad publicity suggesting any new infection as a result of his show will put a strain on the NHS. 

Medics will also be intrigued by his remarking last week that –

“it’s time to start the healing process - that’s part of what we do in theatre.”

Those who’ve lost loved ones during the pandemic will also be interested to hear he’s said -

"Our story in Sleepless deals with mending something that is broken - it’s about putting a family back together after a loss - and we feel it’s time to do exactly that.”

We shall see.

Sleepless The Musical