ACCLAIMED Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar has been enjoying the limelight in London’s West End… and comparisons to Shakespeare.

The 65-year-old filmmaker joined the cast on stage for the curtain call at the opening night of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

The musical, at London’s Playhouse Theatre, is based on his Oscar-nominated 1988 black comedy, Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios, starring Antonio Banderas.

Afterwards the show’s star, actress Tamsin Greig, said Almodovar’s presence felt ‘a little bit like having Shakespeare in the audience’.

“You know that someone is there to whom the story is connected,” she said. “He’s such a generous spirit. It doesn’t feel overwhelming or terrifying. It just feels like you want to walk with him.”

Almodovar said that there was a ‘huge difference’ between the British production, which
was well-received by London critics, and the original Broadway version which flopped in 2010.

“It looks completely new. Even the music sounds completely different because it’s had different orchestration.”

He added that ‘the inspiration for the female characters’ came from Spain’s ‘strong women’ – themes he explored in his Oscar-winning movies,Talk to Her and All About My Mother.

“When I was a boy, I grew up surrounded by strong women, like my mother and neighbours.
The generation of women who saved our country from the war.”

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