Movie-to-Musical Adaptations

Theatre Breaks

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Posted by Shona

The ever-popular musical Rock of Ages was recently made into a feature film. Featuring an all star cast including Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the film has so far received critical acclaim from viewers and critics alike. This musical-to-movie transformation reverses the long-standing trend of musical adaptations of popular motion pictures.  This tradition has proven to be a winning formula, with many of these musicals enjoying phenomenal success that rivals that of the movies themselves. Here’s our pick of some of the most successful movie-to-musical adaptations:

 

Matilda the Musical

London Cambridge Theatre

Matilda has to be one of the favourite books and films from my childhood, so news of the theatre production was music to my ears. Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin are the brains behind it and the musical was very well received by audiences during its previous run in Stratford Upon Avon. What’s more, it has already won numerous awards, despite only running for a short time.

Matilda the Musical tells the tale of Matilda Wormwood, a misunderstood child from the suburbs. With a difficult home life with parents who don’t seem to care, school is just as turbulent for her thanks to the reign of evil headmistress Miss Trunchbull. However, when Matilda discovers she has special powers, she decides to put them to good use and show the grown ups the error of their ways.

Runs until February 2013

Billy Elliot

Victoria Palace Theatre

Billy Elliot is a humble, feel-good underdog story. It tells the tale of a young boy from a working class background in the North East of England trying to fight adversity to achieve his dream of becoming a dancer.

The 2000 film struck a chord with audiences worldwide (myself included) and even earned itself 3 Oscar nominations. To ensure the musical did justice to the film, an experienced team were brought on board. It has been scored by the iconic Sir Elton John and the creative team from the film are involved too, keeping the show true to the original.

Runs until April 2013

Shrek the Musical

Theatre Royal,Drury Lane

I regard this Dreamworks animation as a modern classic. It is a love story with a twist as the stereotypical Prince Charming is replaced by a giant green ogre called Shrek. He and his loyal companion Donkey travel across the land to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona. The musical production features fantastic special effects and all new songs for audiences young and old to enjoy. At present, the cast comprises of Dean Chisnall as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey, and Carley Stenson as Princess Fiona with Neil McDermott completing the cast as Lord Farquaad. This is definitely on my to-watch list.

Runs until June 2013

The Lion King

Lyceum Theatre

To this day, The Lion King is still one of the most watched and most loved films in my collection, so I was slightly concerned that the musical would not be as good. But there was no need to worry as the stage adaptation didn’t disappoint.

The musical production transports you to the plains ofAfricato see the moving story of Simba attempting to usurp the evil Scar to become king of the pride.

The Lion King has won awards and critical acclaim for its music, special effects, costumes and scenery. It features ‘Circle of Life’ and numerous other memorable songs from the motion picture.

Runs until January 2013

The Bodyguard

Adelphi Theatre

The 90s blockbuster starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston is a classic, so it was only a matter of time before it got it’s own stage adaptation.

The story centres around a Secret Service agent turned bodyguard who is hired to protect a famous singer from her stalker. I really enjoyed this romantic thriller the first time round and I’m sure it will capture the hearts of millions all over again when it’s released later this year.

The musical will feature a number of Whitney’s biggest hits alongside well-known The Bodyguard songs including ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ and, of course, ‘I Will Always Love You.’

Runs from November 2012- April 2013

What movie would you like to see made into a musical?

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