I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical

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I Can't Sing!
The X Factor Musical
I Can't Sing!.jpg
Music Steve Brown
Lyrics Harry Hill
Steve Brown
Book Harry Hill
Basis The X Factor
Premiere 26 March 2014 (2014-03-26) – London Palladium
Productions 2014 West End

I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical is a musical comedy written by Harry Hill,[1] with music and additional lyrics by Steve Brown. Based on the TV series The X Factor, the musical made its West End and world premiere in March 2014, at the London Palladium.

Background[edit]

In December 2012, Harry Hill announced that he was working on a musical based on the talent show The X Factor.[2] Following two workshops[3] in March 2013, the show was officially confirmed and it was announced that the musical would open in London in 2014,[3] and would be called It's Time to Face the Musical![4]

On 22 May, it was announced the show would now be called I Can't Sing!,[5] and that it would play the London Palladium,[6] with tickets going on sale the following day.[7] The show which has cost £6 million to produce (so far)[3] is written by Harry Hill[8] and is directed by Sean Foley,[9] with choreography by Kate Prince,[10] set design by Es Devlin,[11] costume design by Leah Archer,[12] illusions by Scott Penrose,[13] lighting design by Jon Clark,[12] orchestrations by Chris Egan,[12] sound design by Gareth Owen[11] and sound effects by Ben and Max Ringham.[13] An original score of 19 songs has been penned,[14] by Hill with music by Steve Brown.[15]

At the press launch for the show on 2 September 2013,[16][17] Simon Cowell said of the concept of an X Factor Musical: “I thought the idea of an X Factor musical, if it was too pompous, would be rubbish, and I did not want it to appear like a cash cow. I wanted it to be a celebration of the show but at the same time poke fun at what we do, because you can’t take it too seriously. Harry of all the people was the right person. His observation of the show in the past has been spot on.”[18] People parodied in the show include: Simon Cowell,[19] Cheryl Cole,[20] Louis Walsh,[21] Gary Barlow[21] and Dermot O'Leary.[22]

Production history[edit]

West End (2014)[edit]

On 30 August 2013, it was announced that Nigel Harman would play the role of Simon Cowell,[23] with Alan Morrissey playing the role of Max[18] and Cynthia Erivo playing Chenice the main contestant in the story.[24] The production's Judging panel was later completed, with the news that Ashley Knight would play Louis, with Victoria Elliot playing the role of Jordy.[25] The production's first public performance came at the Royal Variety Performance in November 2013,[26] performing a medley of "Please Simon" and "I Can't Sing!", the shows title song.[27]

I Can't Sing! began rehearsals on 6 January,[28] with previews commencing on 5 March 2014,[29] at the London Palladium, London, before holding its official opening gala night on 26 March.[30] The production had been scheduled to begin previews on 27 February,[31] however the opening two previews were cancelled due to technical issues with the show's set.[32] Following the initial cancellations, the production had to cancel a further preview performance, due to a key mechanism within the set not functioning correctly.[33][34] Problems continued into previews,[35] with early performances intervals lasting 50 mins, due to set changeovers between acts taking longer than expected[36] and one preview getting cancelled at the interval due to electrical problems.[37] A typical London performance runs two hours and 30 minutes, including one interval of 20 mins.[38] The production closed on the 10 May,[39] just six weeks and three days since its official opening night.[40] Speaking about the closure Cowell said that “We took a punt and it didn't work out. If I could do things different, I would have gone to local theatres and built up a following. We went in too big a theatre - it's the biggest theatre in the West End."[41]

Music[edit]

In September 2013, four tracks were released on SoundCloud[42] and through the shows official website.[43][44] The songs were "I Can't Sing",[42] "If That's Not Entertainment",[42] "Please Simon"[42] and "I Wanna Be Like Bono",[42] although the latter did not make it into the final show. The musical uses a nine-member orchestra consisting of keyboard, guitar, bass, drums, percussion, trumpets and reeds.[38]

Musical numbers[edit]

Principal roles and cast members[edit]

Character Original West End actor[45][46][47]
Simon Nigel Harman[48]
Chenice Cynthia Erivo[24]
Max Alan Morrissey[18]
Barlow Simon Lipkin
Liam O'Deary Simon Bailey
Hunchback Charlie Baker[disambiguation needed]
Gerrard Smalls Billy Carter
Jordy Victoria Elliott
Louis Ashley Knight
Brenda Katy Secombe
Grandpa Joe Speare
Security Guard Delroy Atkinson
Undertaker Joseph Prouse
Brunhilde Alex Young
Vladimir Steven Serlin
Alterboyz Shaun Smith & Rowen Hawkins
Soul Star Scott Garnham, Gary Trainor & Jenna Boyd
The Wind Luke Baker
Young Simons Finlay Banks, Noah Key, Macready Massey & Milo Panni
Voiceover Peter Dickson


References[edit]

  1. ^ "X Factor musical I Can't Sing has a go at Simon Cowell". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  2. ^ "X Factor the Musical? Harry Hill plans spoof show for the West End". guardian.co.uk. The Guardian. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "It's time to face the musical". dailymail.co.uk. Daily Mail. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "X Factor — It's Time to Face the Musical! Heading to West End in Spring 2014". playbill.com. Playbill. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Harry Hill names X Factor musical". bbc.co.uk. BBC News. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Spoof X Factor musical has a title: I Can't Sing!". guardian.co.uk. The Guardian. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "X Factor musical 'I Can’t Sing!' set to hit West End theatre next year". nme.com. NME. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Simon Cowell's X Factor musical to be called I Can't Sing!". radiotimes.com. Radio Times. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "X Factor musical I Can’t Sing to open at the Palladium next year". thestage.co.uk. The Stage. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "I Can't Sing - The X Factor Musical Will Open at London Palladium in March 2014". playbill.com. Playbill. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "I Can't Sing! Creative Team". icantsingthemusical.com. I Can't Sing!. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical". London Palladium Theatre programme: p28-31. March 2014. 
  14. ^ "Harry Hill reveals X Factor musical to be called I Can't Sing". thesun.co.uk. The Sun. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "The joke’s on Simon Cowell as X Factor musical is called 'I Can’t Sing'". standard.co.uk. Evening Standard. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Harry Hill's X Factor musical has it in for Simon Cowell". theguardian.com. The Guardian. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "The X Factor Musical: First look". telegraph.co.uk. The Telegraph. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c "Simon Cowell X Factor musical is not just a "cash cow"". thestage.co.uk. The Stage. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "'X Factor musical' I Can't Sing!'s future in doubt as opening night postponed again". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "NEW DAD Simon Cowell claims Cheryl Cole is 'going to kill' him when she sees his new X Factor musical.". dailystar.co.uk. Daily Star. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "Simon Cowell braces himself for Cheryl Cole backlash following Harry Hill X Factor musical I Can't Sing". mirror.co.uk. Daily Mirror. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  22. ^ "Simon Cowell mocks Demot O'Leary in musical". list.co.uk. The List. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Nigel Harman cast as Simon Cowell in new X Factor musical by Harry Hill". mirror.co.uk. Daily Mirror. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "Nigel Harman and Cynthia Erivo star in X Factor musical I Can't Sing!". whatsonstage.com. Whats on Stage. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  25. ^ "A million per cent YES! X Factor musical I Can't Sing! unveils picture of lookalike actors who play the show's famous judges". dailymail.co.uk. Daily Mail. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Nigel Harman plays Simon Cowell in a special Royal Variety Performance preview of talent show musical I Can't Sing". dailymail.co.uk. Daily Mail. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "Full casting announced for X Factor musical 'I Can't Sing'". westendframe.com. West End Frame. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "Rehearsals Start Today". twitter.com. I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  29. ^ "West End's "X Factor" Musical I Can't Sing! Postpones Start of Previews; Will Now Begin Performances March 1". playbill.com. Playbill. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  30. ^ "'I Can't Sing': Harry Hill reveals name of his X Factor musical". express.co.uk. Daily Express. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  31. ^ "X Factor musical I Can’t Sing! cancels first two previews". thestage.co.uk. The Stage. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  32. ^ "Simon Cowell's X Factor musical I Can't Sing preview shows cancelled but why?". mirror.co.uk. Daily Mirror. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  33. ^ "Postpones Tomorrow's First Performance; Previews Will Now Begin Next Week". broadwayworld.com. Broadway World. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "I Can't Sing! postpones previews for second time". whatsonstage.com. Whats On Stage. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  35. ^ "It’s a no from me: The X Factor musical flops at big audition". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  36. ^ "I Can't Sing! producers admit 'still work to do'". bbc.co.uk/news. BBC News. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  37. ^ "Simon Cowell's X Factor musical I Can't Sing cancelled mid-performance after electrical fault". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  38. ^ a b "I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical". London Palladium Theatre programme: p27. March 2014. 
  39. ^ "X Factor musical I Can't Sing! to close early". bbc.co.uk/news. BBC News. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  40. ^ "X Factor musical I Can’t Sing! to close after less than two months". independent.co.uk. The Independent. 27 April 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  41. ^ "I Can't Sing didn't work out". list.co.uk. The List. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  42. ^ a b c d e "Four NEW Tracks From I CAN'T SING! - THE X FACTOR MUSICAL". broadwayworld.com. Broadway World. 13 September. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  43. ^ "Music". icantsingthemusical.com. I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  44. ^ "A sneak peek at its funniest lyrics". digitalspy.co.uk. Digital Spy. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  45. ^ "Cast". icantsingthemusical.com. I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  46. ^ "The Results Are In! West End's X Factor Musical I Can't Sing! Announces Full Casting". broadway.com. Broadway.Com. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  47. ^ "I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical". London Palladium Theatre programme: p26. March 2014. 
  48. ^ "Downton Abbey’s Nigel Harman cast as ‘Simon Cowell’ in X Factor musical I Can’t Sing". metro.co.uk. Metro. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 

External links[edit]