Thursday, November 06, 2008

Brit and Ben to wow audiences

Two shows of epic proportions are hitting Britain next year under one roof: Britney Spears and a live action adaptation of the Oscar-winning Ben Hur.

The Ben Hur spectacular is set to premiere at London's O2 Arena. Starring 400 performers, 100 animals and five chariots, the multi-million pound extravaganza has taken 15 years to make.

Mark Fisher, chief stage designer at the Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, has been hired to provide the audience with a multi-sensory experience.

Hollywood producer Klaus Badelt has created a full symphoic soundtrack for the show, which premieres on September 15.

"I have aimed to create something completely new, with a high level of artistry, that would excite the audience," producer Franz Abraham told the Evening Standard.

"The show will have the speed of a musical, the depth of great theatre, the power of a rock concert and the visual opulence of a Hollywood blockbuster."

The show - part of the O2 Monumental series - will feature light, sound, water, wind and pyrotechnic effects with a state-of-the-art water wall installed to carry huge projections.

Meanwhile, Britney is also set to perform at the arena next summer as part of her comeback.

The pop star, 26, will bring her tour for up to 10 nights next June or July in London.