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!