London theatre bosses are sweating ahead of Michael Crawford's return to the West End next month (SEP04) - because the star is refusing to promote the musical.

The Phantom Of The Opera actor will play COUNT FOSCO in ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER's new show WOMAN IN WHITE from 15 September (04).

But Crawford has turned down several opportunities to help publicise the show, including a number of magazine features and a planned British television special on the ITV network's popular SOUTH BANK SHOW.

A West End insider says, "Michael is a fantastic draw. People would queue around the block to see him but without the publicity and promotion how will they know he's in it?"

In response a spokesperson for Crawford says. "Unfortunately, we just didn't have the time to do the South Bank Show and as soon as rehearsals are over he'll be doing publicity."

20/08/2004 14:07