The wacky new musical based on the British talent competition The X Factor is getting a facelift. Originally titled X Factor—It’s Time to Face the Musical, the stage show will now be called I Can’t Sing!, according to London’s Evening Standard. I Can’t Sing!, which features infamous judge Simon Cowell as a character, begins performances February 27, 2014, at the London Palladium, with an official opening night on March 26. No casting has been announced.
Although the new musical pokes fun at The X Factor, Cowell is in on the joke. After attending an early workshop, in which his character is (spoiler alert!) eventually revealed to be an alien and blasts off into outer space, the TV personality touted I Can’t Sing! as the “funniest thing I’ve ever seen.” The new production will be presented by Stage Entertainment and Cowell’s company, Syco Entertainment.
I Can’t Sing! features music by Steve Brown and a book by British comic Harry Hill. Two-time Olivier winner Sean Foley is set to direct. “It’s a musical about a musical and it’s very, very funny,” Foley said. “What we’re all aiming for, and Harry said this, is to try and put on the best night’s entertainment that anyone’s ever done, even if we have to die in the process.”
The new musical tells the story of Chenice, who lives in an ITV blackspot because her Grandad’s iron lung interferes with the signal in her caravan—she’s the only girl in the world who has never heard of The X Factor. When she accidentally stumbles into an audition with her talking dog, she starts a journey to both stardom and love. I Can't Sing! goes behind the microphone and under the judges' desk to reveal the (not necessarily accurate) story of heartache and laughter that keeps millions tuning in every week. The new musical features 19 original songs, including the title number, "I Can't Sing!"
I Can’t Sing! may be the first musical to feature Simon Cowell as an alien, but according to book writer Harry Hill, there are many more reasons to check out the show. “We think it’s also the only musical for a while with a singing hunchback, a talking dog and a man [in] an iron lung,” Hill said. “But we’d have to Google that to be sure.”