John Dankworth, Colette, West End, Cleo Laine, Hedda Gabler
The easiest way of offending Cleo Laine is to suggest that most people still think of her as a jazz/blues singer. You can't have been following my career very closely...that's what people say who don't go to my performances," comes the crisp reply. "The way the media put tags on people is quite odeous and can restrict a career." Point taken, she has done a lot besides jazz. She earned herself acclaim in various West End productions, from straight roles in "Hedda Gabler" and Shakespeare and musicals, operas and as a soloist with major orchestras. But surely we can be forgiven for thinking of her first as half of that superbly sucessful jazz partnership with her composer husband John Dankworth? And they are together again in the new musical "Colette," written for her by John Dankworth, which had its world premier at the Alexander Theatre, Birmingham on Tuesday, and will run there for two weeks before transferring to the West End. "Colette" is based on the life of the famous French novelist who created "Gigi." They have a 350-seat theatre/concert hall at their Wavendon, Bucks. home, where they experimented with songs and readings to see what would be viable as a stage production.1st September 1980"
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