Harry Hill's spoof X Factor musical has been given a title, I Can't Sing!, and will play in the West End from February next year, it has been announced.
The comedian described the show, which will run at the 2,200-seat London Palladium, as an "all-singing, all-dancing, all-mickey-taking spectacular", and revealed that it will feature "a singing hunchback, a talking dog and a man in an iron lung".
The musical, coproduced by Simon Cowell's company Syco Entertainment, will feature 19 original songs by Steve Brown, who has written for Spitting Image and Hill's own show TV Burp. Hill has put together the book and contributed lyrics, while Sean Foley – who is elsewhere about to make his Royal Shakespeare Company debut – will direct. Casting is yet to be announced.
The title seems to be the first change in direction for the project, after reports that it was set to be called X Factor: It's Time to Face the Musical. "We'd been umm-ing and ahh-ing about the title for a while," said Hill and Brown in a joint statement. "Then it hit us: I Can't Sing! It also happens to be the title of one of the funniest songs in the show and we hope hints at the direction we're taking this production."
The pair added that Cowell was "backing it 4,500%". Last month, the music mogul described a private work-in-progress performance as "one of the funniest things I've ever seen". Cowell features as a character in the show, alongside Louis Walsh and composite caricatures of other judges that have appeared on the talent show.
In March, Hill told the Daily Mail: "In our show, [Walsh] has basically dozed off; he's an octogenarian boy-band manager." The script is also said to include an explanation for the height at which Cowell wears his trousers.
I Can't Sing! will spend a month in previews before its official opening on 26 March 2014.
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