Trevor Nunn is to direct a new music theatre adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel, Gone with the Wind, with music and lyrics by Margaret Martin, opening at the New London Theatre in April 2008. Booking will open in September this year. Producer Aldo Scrofani of Columbia Artists Theatricals in New York has been developing Gone with the Wind with Margaret Martin and Trevor Nunn for more than three years. Scrofani teams up with London producer Colin Ingram to produce the West End premiere. Casting, dates and further information about the production will be announced in the coming months.
Set in 1860’s Atlanta, Georgia, Gone with the Wind follows the story of the seventeen-year-old Scarlett O’Hara, the eldest of three daughters living a life of luxury on their father’s plantation. But then President Lincoln demands the end of slavery in the South and the Civil War begins. Scarlett’s incredible journey through both the war and the peace is mirrored in her turbulent relationship with Rhett Butler, whose actions always defy prediction. Their story spans ten years and mingles romantic ecstasy with tragic grief, as the life these people once knew disappears, for better or worse: gone with the wind.
Gone with the Wind, published in 1936, is one of the best selling novels of the 20th century and won Margaret Mitchell the Pulitzer Prize. Three year’s later in 1939, the film adaptation made box office history as the highest grossing film of all time and is still regarded as one of the greatest American classics.
Trevor Nunn said: “Having now worked on adapting two vast novels for the stage, Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables, I am drawn to the challenge of telling Margaret Mitchell’s epic story through words, music and the imaginative resources of the theatre. The major turning point of American history is conveyed through Mitchell’s extraordinary cast of characters, black and white, as they pursue their different ideas of the future, and of the past.”
Aldo Scrofani, Producer, said: “Our task in presenting the musical stage version of this epic combines our obligation to remain true to Margaret Mitchell’s original story and characters while also revealing its relevance to our lives today. Our hope is that this theatrical adaptation will cause our audiences to rediscover this timeless and rich story, while also providing each of them a meaningful and memorable experience.”
Most recently Trevor Nunn has directed King Lear in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival, Porgy and Bess at the Savoy Theatre and Tom Stoppard’s multi award-winning Rock ’n’ Roll at the Royal Court and Duke of York’s. From 1968 to 1986 he was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company, directing over thirty productions, including most of the Shakespeare canon. From 1997 to 2003, he was Director of the National Theatre, directing twenty-one shows including Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia and award-winning revivals of Oklahoma! and My Fair Lady. His other more recent theatre
productions include Hamlet and Richard II for the Old Vic and The Royal Hunt of the Sun at the National, and previously Cats, Starlight Express, Chess, Sunset Boulevard and The Woman in White.
Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949) was born in Atlanta, Georgia to a family not unlike that of O’Hara’s in Gone with the Wind. Having attended Washington Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, before enrolling at Smith College in 1918, she started her career in 1922 as a journalist for the Atlanta Journal Sunday magazine. She went on to write Gone with the Wind between1926-1929.
Following a distinguished and successful career as a sociologist, Gone with the Wind is Margaret Martin’s first project for the musical theatre. Dr Martin studied music theory in Los Angeles and is currently at work on two new plays.