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The courtesan and the collaborator: Marguerite

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date18/03/2021
Host publicationParis and the Musical: The City of Light on Stage and Screen
EditorsOlaf Jubin
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9781138611061
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Alexandre Dumas’ La Dame aux Camélias (1848) has been filmed countless times, most famously starring Greta Garbo in George Cukor’s classic Camille (MGM, 1936). The musical version Marguérite, which had its English language premiere at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket (2008), reset the story in occupied Paris, during World War II. In spite of a beautiful score by Alain Boublil and Michel Legrand, with the latter giving full rein to his love of both lively jazz and atmospheric ballads, and a marvelous cast (Ruthie Henshall, Alexander Hanson and Julian Ovenden) the show, elegantly staged by Jonathan Kent, received mixed reviews and could not find an audience. This chapter will consider the musical’s reception exploring the audience’s responses to an unsympathetic female protagonist and the underlying xenophobia. It will also investigate the musical’s revisions, revivals and reception outside of the UK.