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Zurich festival celebrates start of summer

Zurich's summer festival is underway with a feast of drama, music and comedy at the City's Corso Theatre. The festival evolved from the Unifestwochen which ended amid financial problems ten years ago.

But the festival is now in its ninth year and goes from strength to strength. Performances of the Mummenschanz mask theatre are already sold out.

One of the highlights this year is the award winning musical Kat and the Kings. The Zurich production is on until June 25 and brings together cast members from the successful runs in London's West End and Broadway.

"It's a story set in the 1950s about a shoeshine boy called Kat and his group, the Cavalla Kings," says festival organiser, Angelo Stamera. "It's a rags to riches story and on the West End it won two Olivier awards for best musical."

Another coup for the summer festival has been the appearance of the Emmy-award winner, Hans Liberg, who gave a special performance on June 10.

"He's a sophisticated comedian and he plays the piano and many other instruments," says Stamera.

Completing the summer festival line up is an off beat production of Snow White. It is a production from the theatre troupe Die Geschwister Pfister who are so popular they are back for a third appearance.

"This time they have a 15 piece orchestra with them and the story is a modern version of Snow White," says Stamera.

So successful has the Zurich summer festival become that it's now expanding to Basel. It began there on June 13 with a performance from the Stomp dance troupe and continues with Snow White and the Mummenschanz mask theatre.

But Kat and the Kings will not be crossing the country, so fans of musicals are advised to book now to avoid disappointment.

by Michael Hollingdale

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