Cast your mind back… way, way back to the 1980s. Are you there yet? Can you picture shaggy hair perms, leg warmers, leotards and shiney lip-glosss? Is someone’s face coming to mind? Is it… Olivia Newton-John?
Having shaken off her “girl-next-door” image of the 1970’s, Ms Newton-John (Nuetron-Bomb as Terry Wogan liked to call her) was let loose on the movies … the romantic musical fantasy film Xanadu was her 2nd venture after smashing it as Sandy in 1978’s Grease.
Although the film died a death at the box office, the soundtrack was much more successful spawing a number of top ten hits including Magic, Suddenly, I’m Alive, Evil Woman, All Over The World and the title track, Xanudu. It was adapted into a stage musical in 2007 and played on Broadway for 18 months before going off on a successful US tour.
In October 2015, the UK public will have the chance to witness the musical’s premiere this side of the Atlantic with Carly Anderson (Sunny Afternoon) taking on the Newton-John role of Kira the daughter of Zeus and Samuel Edwards (Wicked) as Sonny the street artist.
With music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne (him from E.L.O) and John Farrar (who wrote & produced many of Newton-John’s songs), Xanadu will feature plenty of the aforementioned leg warmers, glitter balls and a roller disco. It will play at London’s Southwark Playhouse from 16 October to 21 November 2015.