Bono attended a rehearsal of the new Andrew Lloyd Webber – Ben Elton musical at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre. This new work is set in Belfast during the beginnings of the Irish Troubles in the late sixties and early seventies.
Bono spent an hour with the all-Canadian cast who performed a selection of songs and scenes for him from this powerful new musical. Afterwards he met with the cast and writer/director Ben Elton on the storied 100-year-old stage of the Royal Alexandra and spoke with great enthusiasm about their work.
Bono “As song writers new to the theatre, we have a lot to learn from Andrew Lloyd Webber. And Ben Elton is so sharp – I’m interested in anything he does. This is a Canadian company telling an Irish tale by British writers on a theme that unites the whole world. Stories like this need to be told and told in the popular theatre’
Said Ben Elton: “Bono was incredible. He spoke to the cast with passion and humour about what he had seen and even shared some tips on Irish phrasing with our lead couple! He told us how his mother was Protestant and his father Catholic which gave him a unique view on the divisions illustrated in our show.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton’s The Boys in the Photograph, which begins performances at the Royal Alexandra Theatre today, on September 22, 2009, tells the story of ordinary people in extraordinary times. This coming-of-age tale is about a group of young men and women who are involved with a local soccer team at the start of a 30-year civil war. Some are drawn into the conflict, while others stand aside wanting only to be allowed to live and love in peace.
Writer Ben Elton tells their story with humour and compassion, with lyrics that are both funny and heartbreaking. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s evocative score combines heart-searing ballads and stirring anthems. This powerful and passionate musical is a joyous celebration of the freedom that love can bring.
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