Oscar-winning 1998 film Shakespeare in Love is being brought to the West End stage by Disney in partnership with producer Sonia Friedman, according to a report in Variety.
The screen-to-stage adaptation is being written by Tom Stoppard, who co-wrote the original screenplay, and directed by American [Jack O’Brien], who has a long association with Stoppard and recently directed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies.
Although Disney Theatrical wouldn’t comment on plans for the show, Variety’s Gordon Cox reports that it is targeting “a London launch”.
We reported on the production back in 2008, though at the time it was thought that producers were turning it into a musical. This new production will be a play, marking a new venture for Disney after the likes of The Lion King and Mary Poppins.
In the screen version of Shakespeare in Love, Joseph Fiennes played Will Shakespeare, who is suffering writer’s block while working on what will become Romeo and Juliet. A young actor who has been cast to play Romeo is actually a noblewoman named Viola (played by Gwyneth Paltrow), who has had to disguise herself as it’s against the law for women to perform on stage. Author and actor fall in love and their passionate, but doomed, love affair inspires Shakespeare’s writing of his great tragedy.
The film, directed by John Madden, won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress for Paltrow and Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench, who made a cameo appearance as Queen Elizabeth.