Films That Are Now Musicals In The West End
13 June 2019 - Omega
Films seem to form an excellent basis for Musical creation, and many have made the leap from the silver screen to the stage.
Here are some of our favourite films-turned-musicals that are currently playing in the West End.
Technically, this was, of course, a West End play BEFORE it was a film, but it was the 2008 movie that really reignited ABBA mania. This “ridiculously enjoyable” West End show is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year but it still feels as fresh as the day it was first performed. "Abba-solutely fabulous!” as the Daily Mail said!
Did you know?
Pierce Brosnan had no idea what the film was about. All he knew what that it was filming in Greece and starred Meryl Streep "that gorgeous blonde I fancied terribly in Drama School." And that was enough to sign up straight away!
BIG The Musical
A newcomer on the list, the film starring Tom Hanks was a huge hit when it was released in 1988. The story centres around 12-year old Josh Baskin, whose wish to be 'big' is unexpectedly granted at a carnival one night. Now, trapped in an adult body in a grown-up world, he’s asking: is being big all it’s cracked up to be?
The fun-filled musical of the film is making its West End premiere at the Dominion Theatre with The Wanted's Jay Guinness starring as Josh. Complete with Zoltar, a giant floor piano and stand-out roles for adults and children, Big is a great choice for anyone looking for a family-friendly smash-hit that is full of high-energy singing and dancing.
The 1996 film starring Danny DeVito was, of course, already based on the beloved Roald Dahl’s children’s novel about a gifted young girl who goes up against her terrible parents and a nightmare of a headteacher, with the help of her wonderful teacher. The West End musical made its debut in 2011, promptly won the Olivier award for Best New Musical and has been wowing audiences ever since.
The Lion King
This multiple Tony and Oliver award-winning musical is based on the 1994 animated Disney film and is known for its incredible set pieces and costumes, not to mention smash-hit songs like ‘Circle of Life’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’.
In September 2014, The Lion King became the top-earning title in box-office history, surpassing the record previously held by The Phantom of the Opera. With a live-action film hitting cinemas in July, we predict this one will go on and on!
9 to 5
Another newcomer this year, the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5 is based on the eponymous film from 1980 starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton as three working women who live out their fantasies of getting even with, and their overthrow of, the company's autocratic, "sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot" boss.
Starring Louise Redknapp and Love Island's Amber Davies, London Theatre says it’s “a smart, fast brand-new production [..], that's full of both wit and grit.”
Waitress the film was a 2007 cult hit starring Keri Russell, who later went on to wow audience in hit series ‘The Americans’. Waitress tells the story of Jenna, who works in a diner in a small Southern town and is a genius at creating luscious desserts, but is trapped in an abusive marriage.
WhatsonStage said "All in all, Waitress is a treat. You can buy the recipe book and sample pies in the foyer, but even without them it leaves a pleasantly sweet taste in the mouth."
Did you know?
Tragically, Adriene Shelly, who wrote, co-starred in and directed the 2007 film never saw its huge success, as her life was cruelly cut short when she was murdered by a construction worker in her New York office. She died not knowing that Waitress had been accepted into the Sundance film festival after being rejected elsewhere.