The musical remake of hit British film Bend It Like Beckham may finally be heading into town
Current Phoenix Theatre show ONCE The Musical announced today that it will close on 21 March 2015, which would free up the Phoenix for a Spring opening for Bend It Like Beckham.
Spring 2015 has long been the ideal launch time for director Gurinder Chadha – who directed and co-wrote the original movie and would be taking the director position on the stage show.
A number of rehearsed readings and workshops have taken place including a big one in May this year at the Dominion Theatre where Andrew Lloyd Webber and theatre critic Mark Shenton were present. The workshop involved actor Jamie Muscato (Love Story, Spring Awakening, Les Miserables – Barbican and Tour, Rock of Ages) and newcomer Nikita Johal. Director Kate Golledge also worked on the project.
The development workshop follows an October 2013 session which saw Samantha Barks play Jules (played by Keira Knightley in the film), Tara Divina as Jess, the Sikh schoolgirl who loves football (played by Parminder Nagra in the movie), plus Frances Ruffelle, Preeya Kalidas, Shobna Gulati and Richard Fleeshman.
The show is penned by composer Howard Goodall (Love Story, The Hired Man) and lyricist Charles Hart (The Phantom of the Opera), with a book by Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges based on Chadha’s screenplay.
Sonia Friedman would be producing the show, alongside her other current hits including Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre, Old Vic show Electra starring Kristin Scott Thomas, King Charles III at the Wyndham’s Theatre and The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales, plus forthcoming Hampstead transfer Sunny Afternoon at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
The show’s closest competition is current Victoria Palace show Billy Elliot, and another British movie turned into a musical and on its way into London – Made in Dagenham – opening this week at the Adelphi Theatre.