West End musical to close

the West End musical Marguerite, starring Theatreland's golden girl, Ruthie Henshall, is to close seven weeks early after struggling at the box office.

The musical, directed by Jonathan Kent, which opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in May, will end its run on 13 September, after 147 performances, rather than on the planned closing date of 1 November.

Its co-authors and producers, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, blamed the closure on disappointing ticket sales and the effects of the credit crunch.

A joint statement read: "Despite high praise from audience members, critically acclaimed performances and the release of the much-anticipated cast recording, we have made the difficult decision to close the show in London a few weeks earlier."

The cast was led by Henshall, who is considered to be a strong box-office attraction, and also starred Julian Ovenden and Alexander Hanson. Set in Nazi-occupied Paris, it is a tragic love story adapted from Alexander Dumas's novel, La Dame aux Camellias.

This week, officials at the Playhouse Theatre announced that the reggae musical, The Harder They Come, featuring the music of Jimmy Cliff, would also be closing early. It will end its critically acclaimed West End season on 13 September.

Earlier this year, Trevor Nunn's Gone With the Wind also had to close early. That was largely because ofpoor reviews.

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