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"My Kingdom for a Cow"

Mr. Kurt Weill's London Venture

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Source: The Daily Mail, June 26, 1935

London playgoers will for the first time have the opportunity of hearing the work of a composer whose tunes are being whistled all over Europe, when "My Kingdom for a Cow" is produced at the Savoy Theatre on Friday night.

Mr. Kurt Weill, who has composed the score for this new musical play, is a short, slight-figured man, unassuming in manner--in every way unlike the brilliant composers of tradition. But many of his works have taken European audiences by storm.

He was supervising an orchestra rehearsal the other day at the Savoy, while the company was putting the finishing touches to the piece at another theatre close by.

"Although the libretto for this show was written in German originally," Mr. Weill told me, "it has been our idea all along to have it produced first of all in London.

"The story is a friendly satire on certain aspects of modern life, with the 'hero' a little farmer who only wants to be left in peace with his work, his wife, and his cow--on which a tax has been levied by a Government at its wit's end to raise more money.

"We have tried to make the whole thing a jolly romp, and I hope a tuneful one. This is my first experience of the London stage, and it is a great adventure for me."

The country of the story is a purely Ruritanian one, and it is emphasised that no reference is intended to any real country or to living people.

One of the most interested of those who have been watching rehearsals has been M. Rene Clair, the famous film director. He made one or two suggestions to the producer, Mr. Felix Weisberger [sic] (until recently Max Reinhardt's principal assistant), which have been enthusiastically adopted.

The novelty of the production, together with the prospect of hearing an exceptionally interesting musical score, is attracting many distinguished people to the first-night at the Savoy on Friday.