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Wednesday, 18 October, 2000, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Scacchi's West End return pulled
Greta Scacchi
Scacchi has not been on the West End stage for 12 years
Actress Greta Scacchi's return to the West End is to come to an abrupt and premature end with the closure of her play The Guardsman after only two weeks.

Producers of the French farce at London's Albery Theatre announced on Tuesday that the show would close on 28 October due to poor ticket sales.

The show began on 4 October and was expected to run for at least seven weeks.

This compelling and erotic comedy has been turned into a crude and laboured farce

Daily Telegraph

However, the attraction of White Mischief star Scacchi - making her West End comeback after 12 years away - failed to overcome the effect of poor reviews.

The show is thought to carry losses of around 250,000. It is also reported to have been in trouble before its transfer from regional theatres to London.

A spokesman for The Guardsman's PR company told BBC News Online on Wednesday that producer Paddy Wilson would not comment further on his production's closure.

However he confirmed that reports on the show's demise were correct.

'Theatrical warhorse'

Wilson said on Tuesday: "It has a great cast and it looks wonderful but the critics and the audience don't want it."

He added that he had been expecting advance ticket sales of 100,000 but they had only reached 30,000.

The Guardsman is a romantic comedy written in 1911 by Hungarian Ferenc Molnar.

Scacchi and Pennington play a recently married couple going through a rough patch.

The husband suspects his wife of adultery and disguises himself as a guardsman to try to find her out.

A Daily Telegraph review said of the production: "This compelling and erotic comedy has been turned into a crude and laboured farce."

The London Evening Standard's Nicholas de Jongh called it an "old theatrical warhorse, otherwise known as a 1911 sex-war comedy, lumbering into town, looking as if it was almost on its last legs".

Another London newspaper, Metro, added that The Guardsman suffered from "slack pockets of action as the joke is played out".

The show's poor performance follows earlier West End disappointments this year, including the musicals Lautrec and Tess, which also closed after only a few weeks.

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