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A Unique Musical About A Unique Man - Winston Churchill

09-30-2010 09:15 AM CET | Leisure, Entertainment, Miscellaneous

Press release from: Churchill The Musical Ltd

September 2010, The Algarve, Portugal


A Unique Musical about a Unique Man

“Churchill the Musical” opens for its World Premiere from the 1st - 8th of October in the town of Lagoa, which is situated in the delightful Algarve region of Southern Portugal. There will be nightly performances at 7.30pm with two matinees on Sunday the 3rd and Wednesday 6th October at 3pm.

Seats for the show are being snapped up as people are becoming aware of the event. According to the co producers, Churchill the Musical Ltd and the Municipal Council of Lagoa, the first night was almost sold out before the tickets were even printed and the last night is already sold out. Other nightly performances are selling fast and the two matinees, which seem to be popular with both Portuguese and English schools, mainly because of the musical’s factual historical content, are also filling up.

All evening ticket holders will receive a free full colour souvenir programme, with some signed personally by Sir Cliff Richard.

As well as the English and English speaking Portuguese community living on the Algarve, people are travelling from Madeira, England, Holland, France, Spain, Ireland, Canada and even from San Diego in the USA especially to see the show. English commercial producers are expected to attend.

The libretto/book of the musical was written by Derek Charles Ash, who also wrote the lyrics, and Trevor Holman who has written the music.

The musical is directed by Ray Jeffery who has directed over 1700 musicals and plays and who is currently directing the off London “Beauty and the Beast” for Walt Disney Productions. Ray has won the prestigious Waterford Directors Trophy 27 times. He brings with him his two assistants both of whom have worked with him for many years. This will be Ray’s fifth off London World Premiere, having been responsible for Fiddler on The Roof, La Cage Aux Folles, Billy Liar and Les Miserables.

The principal cast members are all coming from the UK. Jonathan Reynolds plays Winston Churchill with Sarah Pryde playing the role of his wife Clemmie. Oliver Lanford is playing Winston’s Aide.

Jade Willis is playing the role of Anne Frank and sings “That’s What I Believe”, a commemorative song (Anne Frank would have been eighty years old this year) which is dedicated as a tribute to her memory. Anne Frank House in Holland has endorsed the song and helped with the dialogue in this scene.

Ryan Francois, the choreographer, who is known for being the world’s leading Lindy Hop dancer (a popular dance during the thirties and forties which is now making a comeback), is presenting his team of dancers “Swing Extreme” for the song “Watch me Dance”. They have appeared demonstrating on stage and television on numerous occasions including the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” and “Dancing with the Stars” for NBC in America

The musical involves about a hundred people on and off stage and the commitment is nothing short of incredible. In total fifteen people are coming over from the UK who are directly involved in the production and have already been rehearsing in England.

The lighting is being carried out by Andy Chaffer who is one of the top three lighting designers in the UK.

KISS FM, which is the leading bilingual radio station on the Algarve, and “The Resident” which is the Algarve’s leading English language newspaper are both sponsors of the musical and have been carrying the story. The Portuguese national media has now noticed this event and was led by an article which appeared in the popular Correia Da Manha this week. Portugal television is also starting to hear about the musical and the UK press is being informed.

An off London UK tour is being planned using the same director and principal actors and all participants in the show have been told that they would be welcome to participate in any future event.

There are Portuguese people happily involved in the sound, assisting the lighting designer and the all important front of house and back stage. There are no Portuguese actors in this production because of authenticity. “Churchill The Musical” is presented in English and all English speaking Portuguese people are welcome to the show.

The writers think it very important that Portuguese people who do not happen to speak English should not miss the chance to see this show and to this end it is hoped that a Portuguese producer might enjoy the spectacle and subsequently take it on to Lisbon, translate the entire show and employ the talents of the best Portuguese actors and theatre crews. If this is not to be the case then the writers say they will take on this task themselves.

Although neutral during World War 2, the Portuguese people saved hundreds of thousands of lives by letting refugees escape from the Nazi Regime through their country. Lisbon was full of spies from both sides during the war and an aircraft carrying someone with a similar name and appearance to Winston Churchill left Lisbon for England and was shot down by the Nazis over the Bay of Biscay. There were no survivors and the actor Leslie Howard (who was spying for British intelligence) known for his roles in “The Scarlet Pimpernel” and “Gone With the Wind” was on board the plane.

Why the Algarve? “Why not?” say the writers. “The Musical was written here and our recording studio is here. We offer a very real story about a very real human being, without whom the world today would be a hell on earth for everyone who values freedom and liberty of expression”.

Rehearsals start with the arrival of the director and principal actors this Wednesday afternoon (22nd September). There will be daily rehearsals at the Lagoa Auditorium from 2pm to 10 pm until the final dress rehearsal on the 30th September, before the opening night on the 1st October. They will be staying at the Holiday Inn in Armacao da Pera, who are sponsors of the show and are being transported by VIP chauffeurs who are also sponsors.

A DVD is being made of the entire show and the CD of the original cast recording will be on sale in the theatre with a percentage of all CD sales going to the Royal British Legion, an organisation that dedicates itself to helping war victims and their families.

There are over 250 lighting changes, over 250 costumes and uniforms and in excess of 50 wigs that have been brought from the UK by Algarve Freight who are also sponsoring the show.

Comments from people around the world and other information can be obtained from

The writers say “We have done our very best to stage an original and beautiful musical. It will be up to the public to tell us if they think it was all worth it”.


For more information please visit or email Derek Ash (

Members of the press are welcome to attend if they wish – complimentary tickets are available for most performances. Please contact the Production Administrator Melanie Kendall on 00351 915 818483 or .

For more information please visit or email Derek Ash (

Mel Kendall
Churchill The Musical Ltd.

ARC (Algarve Record Company Limited)
Sitio Pés do Cerro 314Z
8700-072 Moncarapacho

Tel : 00351 915 818483
Website :
Website :

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