X Factor guru Simon Cowell has become the latest big name in show business to suffer an expensive pratfall in London’s West End with the announcement that the musical I Can’t Sing! he co-produced will close after a six-week run.
The demise of the musical parody of the TV talent contest, which reportedly cost 6mil pounds (RM33mil) to produce, comes hard on the heels of the closures of new musicals by long-time West End and Broadway hotshots Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It also follows the expensive 2012 fiasco of a musical based on the Spice Girls pop band.
The closure of I Can’t Sing! – which featured a talking dog and portrayed Cowell as a megalomaniac, played by Nigel Harman – was announced on the show’s website and was also tweeted to its followers.
“Stage Entertainment and Syco Entertainment, the producers of I Can’t Sing! at the London Palladium, have announced the closure of the production on Saturday 10th May 2014,” the statement on the website said. “The show received a series of rave reviews and standing ovations from thousands of theatre-goers following its opening earlier this year.”
Despite reviews praising the show’s irreverence, it struggled to fill one of the West End’s largest theatres, and on some nights a hoarding outside advertised the availability of choice seats for only 20 pounds just before curtain time.
“The West End can be an unpredictable place as the closure of a number of high-profile productions recently has shown,” said Rebecca Quigley, the CEO of Stage Entertainment. “I Can’t Sing! has had audiences on their feet night after night, four and five star reviews from the critics and an amazing company and creative team, but it seems that isn’t always enough.”