November 6, 2008

‘Ben Hur Live’ Headed for London’s O2

A historical epic called "Ben Hur Live" and featuring 400 performers and 100 animals is to be staged at The O2 in London, AEG Europe announced Thursday.

The production's world premiere is slated to take place at the venue Sept.15, 2009, with two other performances scheduled there Sept. 18 and 19.

"The idea for 'Ben Hur Live' began 15 years ago," German producer Franz Abraham, the show's creator, said in a statement. "Right from the beginning, I aimed to create something completely new, with a high level of artistry, that would excite the audience. The show will have the speed of a musical, the depth of great theater, the power of a rock concert and the visual opulence of a Hollywood blockbuster."

David Campbell, chief executive of AEG Europe, owners and operators of The O2, added: "When I heard about the concept for 'Ben Hur Live' I couldn't quite believe it. This is going to be the show of next year and I'm thrilled that we are hosting the world premiere."

The production's debut coincides with the 50th anniversary of the classic film "Ben Hur" and will feature a recreation of the movie's famous chariot race.

After its engagement at The O2, "Ben Hur Live" is expected to tour Europe.