Tori Amos musical shelved by National Theatre

The Light Princess, the centrepiece of the National's 2012 spring season, has been postponed indefinitely, the Guardian can reveal

A keenly anticipated new musical by Tori Amos, scheduled to have its world premiere at the National Theatre, has been postponed indefinitely, the Guardian can exclusively reveal.

The Light Princess, an adaptation of George MacDonald's 19th-century fairytale of the same name with music and lyrics by the American singer-songwriter, had been due to open in the Lyttelton theatre next April.

It was announced by the National's artistic director Nicholas Hytner in January, and was to have been the centrepiece of the theatre's spring season, directed by Marianne Elliott, who co-directed the National's biggest smash hit of recent years, War Horse.

However, despite numerous workshops, the musical has been deferred over fears it will not be ready in time; at present, there are no dates set for its world premiere.

A National Theatre spokeswoman denied, however, that the theatre was ditching the project altogether. She told the Guardian: "Development is continuing on The Light Princess and we'll announce a new date for the production in due course."

The musical has already held at least four weeks of development workshops. Plans for its future are not yet in place and will depend on the availability of the creative team. Cast members, none of whom have yet been officially announced, were told of the postponement earlier this week.

MacDonald's fairytale is about a cursed princess who defies the laws of gravity unless she is in contact with water. Australian playwright Samuel Adamson, whose play Mrs Affleck was staged at the National in 2009, is writing the book and additional lyrics. Amos, who has sold more than 12m albums worldwide and been nominated for eight Grammy awards, has been working on the project for several years.

In 2008, before The Light Princess had been programmed, she told the Independent: "The National Theatre has been more open-minded than anyone I could have worked with on Broadway, but everything has to be approved by committee … They can pull out and this musical may never be staged."


Matt Trueman

The GuardianTramp

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