Appeal to find 129-year-old stage show mandolin lost weeks before opening night

A 129-year-old instrument central to an upcoming theatre production of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin has been lost less than a month before the show’s opening night.

Alex Mugnaioni, who plays the dashing Captain Antonio Corelli in the adaptation of British writer Louis de Bernieres’ 1994 book, misplaced the mandolin after rehearsals on Tuesday.

The Neapolitan instrument is thought to have gone missing on the 18.34 Southeastern train service from London Bridge to Sidcup.

The 129-year-old mandolin lost on Tuesday (Marc Brenner/PA)

The show’s producers have launched an appeal for the return of the mandolin, which they say is vital to the production.

Mugnaioni made a plea for the instrument’s safe return, suggesting it had been mistakenly picked up by a passer-by.

He said: “We spent a long time hunting for the perfect mandolin, it’s devastating to lose it so close to the show.

“I’m playing throughout the show and you create quite a connection with an instrument. If anyone has picked it up by mistake we’d be so grateful for its return.”

Producers are offering a reward of tickets to the opening night on April 25 at the Rose Theatre in Kingston upon Thames.

The mandolin case (Marc Brenner/PA)

De Bernieres’ book, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for best book in 1995, is styled as a modern reinvention of the Greek epic poem.

It follows a family on the Greek island of Cephalonia during the Italian and German occupations of the Second World War.

Central to its plot is a mandolin owned by protagonist Captain Corelli.

The show’s producers can be emailed at info@nml.org.uk with information as to the mandolin’s whereabouts.

The play will preview at the Leicester Curve between April 13 and 20, tour the UK and close at Glasgow Theatre Royal on June 29.

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