The hunchback of Notre Dame can finally get ready to ring those church bells. Quasimodo, a musical by late Oliver! composer Lionel Bart, will receive its world premiere in London 17 years after Bart's death. Based on Victor Hugo’s 1931 novel Notre Dame de Paris, Quasimodo will begin performances at the King’s Head Theatre on March 20, 2013, 50 years after Bart began writing the musical. The show will play a limited engagement through April 13. No casting has been announced at this time.
The musical explores the love between the title deformed bellringer and Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy girl. In 1995, a semi-staged industry workshop was presented at Soho Laundry, starring Tony winner Frances Rufelle (Les Miserables) as Esmerelda and Ray Shell (The Bodyguard) as Quasimodo.
Bart earned a 1963 Tony Award for Oliver!’s music and lyrics. Bart also composed La Strada on Broadway, and Lock Up Your Daughters, Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, Blitz!, Maggie May, Twang! and Lionel in the West End. Bart died in 1999 in London after a battle with cancer.