The X-Factor Musical Launches In London

Tickets are on sale now for the most eagerly awaited musical of 2014, I Can’t Sing! The X-Factor Musical, which commences previews on 27 February at the London Palladium

The show was launched this week at London's RADA rehearsal space, with writer Harry Hill, composer Steve Brown, director Sean Foley and X-Factor supremo (and I Can't Sing! producer) Simon Cowell in attendance, under the watchful eye of Palladium owner Andrew Lloyd Webber. 

Hill treated the crowd to a brief stand-up set before introducing the show’s cast. Emcee Lisa Snowdon put it to him that I Can’t Sing! had been his brainchild.

'Yes – brainchild, not lovechild,' he quipped, casting a cheeky glance to Cowell.

The cast performed three songs from the show – including 'Please Simon', in which X-Factor contestants implore Mr Cowell to cure them of their miserable, unfulfilled lives - and an amazing rendition of the title song by Cynthia Erivo and Alan Morrissey, who star as X-Factor hopefuls Chenice and Max.

X-Factor announcer Peter Dixon introduced Nigel Harman, best known as EastEnders' Dennis Rickman, but soon-to-be I Can't Sing's very own Simon Cowell - 'who can get you pregnant just by looking at you!' - before the creative team held forth about the show.

'The big thing for me was – were the songs going to be any good?' Cowell said. 'When I went to the workshop I said to my PA, find me a door by the nearest exit, because if the songs are crap, I’m out. But they weren’t, and I stayed, and we agreed to do the deal. But I get it in the neck throughout, and it’s constantly evolving, this story… I don’t care!' 

Harry Hill described the tone of the show. "What we’re trying to do is what we did on TV Burp", he said, "which is not to be cruel, but to take the mickey in a friendly way".

'It’s really a variety show in the form of a musical," Steve Brown said.'We’ve got really funny songs, really wonderful characters to follow and fantastic jokes, and we’re going to work really hard to give people a very, very good night out at the Palladium' 

Director Foley, whose revived production of The Ladykillers is currently playing at the Vaudeville Theatre, admitted he wasn't keen on the idea of an X-Factor musical at first.

'I honestly thought, this is the worst idea I have ever heard,' he said. 'It sounded like a terrible cash-in.

But then the second thing was, Harry Hill’s going to write it, and Steve Brown, who wrote Spend, Spend, Spend is going to do the music. And as soon as I read it I knew it had its own thing, separate to spinning off from such a massive cultural phenomenon as the X-Factor. It’s its own take and it’s funny. I mean, I get involved with funny shows, and this is really funny.”

For more information and to book tickets for I Can’t Sing! The X-Factor Musical at the  London Palladium, click here