From Screen To Stage? 7 Movies With The Potential For West End Glory

By Liz Dyer
Thursday 09 July 2015

It seems fair to say that London’s newest musical, Bend It Like Beckham, has hit the back of the net as far as the critics are concerned. The show, which had its opening night on 24th June, has been described as ‘irresistible’, ‘joyous’, and ‘one of the sunniest, funniest musicals I have seen in many a year’.

From Screen To Stage? 7 Movies With The Potential For West End Glory

I really enjoyed Bend It Like Beckham, and agree it’s a lot of fun, but I have a bit of an issue. This is just one more in a long, long line of movies made into musicals: Dirty Dancing, Ghost, Billy Elliot, Made in Dagenham, Kinky Boots, Sister Act… I even hear rumours there’s going to be a Clueless musical soon. And as great as these shows might all be, it does make me wonder why we can’t come up with more original ideas, instead of recycling old ones.

But since it doesn’t seem this trend is going away any time soon, I thought I’d have a browse through my DVD collection and come up with a few suggestions of movies that - to my knowledge - haven’t yet made it to the stage…

Mostly just because I want to see them get a ship and an iceberg on stage. After all, if Miss Saigon can manage a helicopter, it can’t be impossible, surely? Also - we all know the theme tune already. Bonus.

Moulin Rouge
To be honest I’m amazed this hasn’t happened already. Moulin Rouge is the ultimate musical - it’s big, and colourful, with a tragic love story and a brilliantly inventive twist to the music. I’d go and see that.

This movie, based on Ian McEwan’s book, already has a theatrical quality to it, and has the potential to reduce audiences to floods of tears with its story of love, war and a lifelong search for redemption.

This one isn’t actually in my DVD collection, because I don’t really do scary. But judging by the success of The Woman in Black, I can see a stage version of Psycho being a smash hit… for people who like that sort of thing.

It might have missed out on the Best Original Song Oscar to Once, but there are some undeniably catchy tunes in this 2007 Disney movie about a fairytale princess sent to modern New York by a wicked queen.

Erin Brockovich
Anything Made in Dagenham can do… The true story of one woman taking on a corrupt establishment won Julia Roberts a bunch of awards. Throw in a few stirring anthems and we could have the next big musical.

Notting Hill
Because it’s one of my favourite films. That’s it, really.

What movies would you like to see adapted for the stage?


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Liz Dyer

Liz is a lifelong theatre fan who gets very angry when people talk during the show. Her first West End show was Joseph with Phillip Schofield in the 90s. And yes, she still knows all the colours of his coat. In order.

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