The Boyfriend is a roaring twenties comedy musical telling a tale of class-thwarted love twixt toffs on the Riviera. The original 1954 London production ran for 2,078 performances. This weekend, Showtime Challenge will throw an entire production of it together from scratch, to raise money for The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts.
They have just 48 hours to rehearse the cast they put together back in February and put the musical on the stage with all that entails from costume, music, tech, props, choreography, staging, lighting etc. The stars will have been sweating over their scripts and songs in solitude since, barred from any kind of group practice with the rest of the crew until this Friday. Then it's 2 days and nights of theatrical madness as they conjure up a full length show, to pro standards, in a west end theatre for a paying audience on Sunday night.
As befits a seemingly insurmountable challenge like this, Anneka Rice - bejumpsuited star of TV's Treasure Hunt and Challenge Anneka - will guest host the show and offer celebrity moral support to the cast and crew on the night. Then it's time to trust in Theatreland's alright on the night, the show must go on and hoofer spirit to get through it. The buzz and energy at previous Showtime Challenges has been palpable: whatever happens on stage you can be sure of a good time.
The Boyfriend is at Her Majesty's Theatre, Haymarket, SW1 on Sunday 8 May, 7.30pm. Get tickets now and support this fantastic charitable effort. Priced £19-£39.50.