Entertainment & Arts

Imelda Marcos musical Here Lies Love set for London stage

Here Lies Love at The Public Theater Image copyright AP/The Public Theater/Joan Marcus
Image caption Ruthie Ann Miles is currently playing Imelda Marcos at New York's Public Theater

A disco musical about former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim is to be staged at the National Theatre in London this autumn, the show's director has said.

Here Lies Love had rave reviews when it opened in New York last year.

Director Alex Timbers told the Hollywood Reporter it would have its London premiere in October.

A spokesman for the National said talks were "progressing fruitfully" but that the transfer was not confirmed.

The high-octane show follows the fortunes of Imelda Marcos, who wielded great power during the reign of her husband Ferdinand between 1966 and '86.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Imelda Marcos, now in her 80s, gained notoriety for her huge shoe collection

During her husband's 20 years as Philippine president, she amassed a huge collection of art, jewellery, property and - most famously - at least 1,000 pairs of shoes.

When they were ousted in a "People Power" revolution in 1986, Philippine investigators estimated their wealth at about $10bn (£5.8bn).

The next president, Corazon Aquino, set up a special commission to recover these funds for the government coffers - but more than 25 years later, just $4bn has been accounted for.

Byrne, the former frontman of US art-pop band Talking Heads, created the show and enlisted British superstar DJ Fatboy Slim to help write the music.

The duo won the the outstanding music award at last year's New York Drama Desk awards.

Nightclub setting

Timbers said it would open the National's refurbished Dorfman auditorium, which was formerly known as the Cottesloe.

Dubbed a "poperetta", it is currently at the Public Theater in New York, where the auditorium has been transformed into a nightclub setting, with most of the audience standing and dancing as the show unfolds around them.

Attempting to describe it, the Huffington Post's Steven Suskin wrote: "A musical? A disco musical? A theatrical extravaganza? All three jumbled together, and something not quite like anything New York theatergoers have ever seen."

Ben Brantley of the New York Times wrote that it was "a lot of fun if you just go with the sweaty flow" and that Byrne "sets a new standard for audience participation".

On Sunday, Here Lies Love won five prizes at the off-Broadway Lucille Lortel Awards.

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