The Shawshank Redemption coming to the West End

Theatre Breaks

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I was looking back at some of my early posts on this blog for organisational purposes today and came across this one I wrote in January on Hairspray and how big musicals are increasingly stealing their ideas from Hollywood, rather than the other way round.

About an hour later, I saw this story about The Shawshank Redemption – one of my favourite films – being adapted for the theatre and I feel vindicated in my opinion!

Ok, it’s not quite a musical but it will be a significant West End show when it comes to the Wyndham Theatre in London. It’s a much loved film – rated number one by users on the Internet Movie Database – so I imagine it’s the kind of thing that people will take theatre breaks for and plan well in advance to ensure they get tickets.

The story itself – if you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to give away too much, but it’s about an epic prison breakout – is so dramatic and powerful, I have no doubt that it’ll make a fantastic show, if done correctly. At the same time, I do feel like there’s something dangerous about tinkering with a story that works so wonderfully well in its existing format.

What’s more, it’s not the kind of move that’s going to bring new audiences to the storyline – I mean, I love the theatre but most people I know would rather go to the cinema than see a play. So while releasing the film of The Shawshank Redemption in 1994 probably directed a lot more people towards the original Stephen King novella, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, I doubt that the play will do the same.

Still, I think it sounds like an exciting project and I am looking forward to seeing it. It’s already been performed in Dublin but I can’t find any reviews – can anyone help? Or, if you went to see it, I’d love to hear your opinion!

One response to “The Shawshank Redemption coming to the West End

  1. I absolutely love the Shawshank Redemption! It’s one of my favourite films of all time as well!

    Sadly though, I remember that they tried, and failed to bring Rain Man to the stage, so while I’ll keep an open mind, I can’t help but feel that not all films are transferable.

    If someone decided to do Top Gun however, I would definitely go to see that!

    All said and done, it should be interesting to see how they do the scene with the actor crawling through the sewage pipe!

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