x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

2012 date set for Tori Amos's first rock musical

The songwriter Tori Amos expects to see her first rock musical on stage at the National Theatre in London next year.

The songwriter Tori Amos's debut rock musical is expected to have its premiere at London's National Theatre next year. Amos, 47, has adapted George MacDonald's 19th-century Scottish fairy tale The Light Princess, about a princess cursed with weightlessness by her wicked aunt.

It's been years in the making. "I'm trying to write a musical that will be relevant to a 16-year-old today - a rite of passage for a young girl into womanhood," Amos said back in 2008.

The "rock opera" subgenre has a whole tradition behind it - a distinctly middlebrow, if bizarrely postmodern form, and one that's yielded mixed results. The first musical billed as a rock opera was Tommy, composed by Pete Townshend of The Who in 1969. It spawned 40 years of concert, film, ballet and theatre adaptations.

But the genre mostly inspired the wackier, more cosmic realms of their composers' imaginations: the Kinks' Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) followed the travails of a Briton who moves to Australia; David Bowie's concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, originally planned as a musical, told the story of a rock star asked by aliens to write music at the end of the world, while The Rocky Horror Picture Show parodied science fiction and B-movie horror flicks.

Recently, the genre has tripped further into kitsch, with such musicals as We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia! culled from the songbooks of Queen and Abba. It's a safe guess that Amos's effort will be a far cry from these big-hitting moneyspinners.