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Last Updated: Friday, 14 September 2007, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Sir Cameron takes shows to China
Sir Cameron Mackintosh
Sir Cameron's credits include Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady
British theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh is to help stage Chinese versions of hit West End shows like Miss Saigon and Phantom Of The Opera.

The first, a Chinese-language version of Les Miserables, will debut next year at Beijing's National Grand Theatre.

Auditions for the show will take place across China by the end of this year.

The productions are part of an agreement with the China Arts and Entertainment Group, affiliated with China's Ministry of Culture.

Sir Cameron said he also hoped to bring productions of Mamma Mia!, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady and Cats to the country.

He will meet students at China's Central Academy of Drama on Tuesday.

Original productions

In the long run, he will help to train Chinese writers, performers and production crews to create original Chinese musicals, he said in a statement.

Sir Cameron was the first Western producer to take a Broadway production to China, staging a version of Les Miserable at Shanghai's Grand Theatre in 2002.

The musical, based on Victor Hugo's novel set in the aftermath of the French Revolution, was performed in English a Chinese translation at the top of the stage.

It took five years to put on the show following an invitation from the Grand Theatre's vice-president and, later, the Chinese government.

Since then, the appetite for Western musicals has grown throughout China.

The tap dance-themed 42 Street is scheduled to tour the country for several weeks this month, while The Sound of Music and The Lion King have both received performances in the last year.


SEE ALSO
Sir Cameron plans 7m theatre rescue
10 Jan 03 |  Entertainment
Sir Cameron: West End 'dowdy'
03 Sep 01 |  Entertainment
Les Mis captivates China
19 Jul 02 |  Entertainment
West End to have 35m revamp
25 Jun 03 |  Entertainment

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