6 West End Musicals That Need To Be Hollywood Movies

By Shaun Nolan
Friday 27 February 2015

Though all of us around these parts are deeply in love with theatre and it’s our favourite art form, none of us can deny that movies and the world of Hollywood comes a close second. Movie musicals have been around since sound could be used in film and there are such a wide range of options from classics like Singin’ In The Rain to modern classics like Hairspray that it’s hard to image a world without them... but we can’t deny that we secretly want some more so, I’ve gone and compiled a list of West End shows that really should have a big Hollywood debut.

If you missed out on either the off-West End run at the St James Theatre or the West End run at the Apollo Theatre of this show then you have seriously missed out on something hilarious and incredible. I saw Urinetown twice during its run and when I think back the extravagant gothic scenery and the humour that it contrasts with, the thought “British movie!” screams in my head. I wonder how they’d change some of the theatre-exclusive tricks they do (like the escape they make from the public loo at the end of act one) to suit the big screen, but what I do know for sure is that it would be a fantastic blockbuster hit.
Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre)
A show that was once a blockbuster hit in its original run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and has once again gained blockbuster musical status at the Prince Edward Theatre is the Boublil and Schonberg musical Miss Saigon. This show has been a part of my life for a very long time now and fast became my favourite musical when I got to see the revival for the first time, but can’t we all agree that this would be incredible on film as well? The passionate romantic songs up close and that helicopter being an actual real helicopter!? Yes please!
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Aldwych Theatre)
Carole King was a massive influence on my mum’s and my nan’s music tastes as I’m sure is the same for some of you so her music has played a massive part in my growing up. The musical finally hit our side of the Atlantic a few weeks ago and even though it’s another week until I go and see the show, I can already tell that a Carole King musical biopic would be a hit! Can you imagine what kind of Oscars and Grammy attention that film would get!? (And note that the Broadway cast recording won the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album the other week!)
Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: The Musical (Playhouse Theatre)
I know that this show is based on a very popular cult favourite Spanish film, but I can’t help but imagine how incredibly an English musical remake of this film would be. Let’s bring back some of the Original Broadway cast like Patti LuPone and Laura Benanti and slap them alongside Tasmin Greig and Haydn Gwynne and we’ll have the perfectly hilarious Spanish-yet-English/American musical comedy film. Sound good? I thought so too.
Once: The Musical (Phoenix Theatre)
Another show that is based on an already hit movie is Once that is set to close at the Phoenix Theatre this March. I saw the show twice in its run and have got to say that I much prefer it to the original movie (that I actually found really slow and kind of boring), so why not update the movie version by making it a much more exciting musical version? This show was literally screaming to become a musical and because the movie was such a success, why haven’t they thought of mashing the two up already!?
Dogfight ran off-West End at the Southwark Playhouse last summer and I got the chance to finally see the show and sit a Q&A with the creators after having fallen deeply in love with the soundtrack earlier on in the year (Lindsay Mendez, anyone!?) The show has got to be the most raw and beautiful piece of theatre I have ever seen because it was in such an intimate space and the only way I can see that being recreated is with a film camera. Once again, I know this was a cult favourite film before, but please oh please remake it as a musical.



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Shaun Nolan

Shaun grew up listening to the cast recordings of musical theatre treasures like Miss Saigon and Cats before finding his own feet at a young age and exploring a wide breadth of musicals and shows by himself. Now that he's older and wiser, he loves nothing more than taking very regular trips down to London's West End to soak up the pure magic that he loves so much... and then coming home and sharing it with you on his own blog and London Theatre Direct.

Please note: Opinions expressed on the blog are those of the relevant contributors, not of London Theatre Direct Ltd, its owners or staff. London Theatre Direct Ltd is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by contributors.

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