Is the much rumoured musical version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil inching closer to a West End run?

The Lady Chablis and John Cusack in the 1997 film version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

The Lady Chablis and John Cusack in the 1997 film version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

There’s increasing chatter that a musical version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil could be heading our way.

An extended New York workshop of the show in mid-September saw Alfred Uhry’s musical adaptation put through its paces by director Rob Ashford, and the gossip is good.

The workshop follows a June reading that saw US actors such as Tony Goldwyn, Leslie Uggams, Peter Cincotti, Jessica Molaskey, Michael Park and Jake Robinson read for the show.

The musical is based on John Berendt’s witty, atmospheric and hugely successful book (it spent an impressive 216 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list) and is a true story of murder and intrigue set amongst the high society of Savannah, Georgia in the Deep South.

The book was famously turned into a 1997 movie directed by Clint Eastwood and starring John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, a very young Jude Law and real life character The Lady Chablis.

Producers Craig Haffner and Anne Hamburger are working away on the show, which is aiming for a 2015 or 2016 London opening ahead of a Broadway run.

A host of memorable characters include drag queen The Lady Chablis, played in the movie by herself, and a cornerstone character for the musical given that it comes hot on the heels of successes such as Broadway smash-hit Kinky Boots featuring drag queen Lola.

Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhry (Driving Miss Daisy) has written the show, and composer Mark Bennett has set the score which features songs from the American songbook including a good dose of Johnny Mercer numbers.

Director Rob Ashford has been attached to the show from the beginning, with current projects including this year’s NBC live Christmas musical version of Peter Pan following his hugely successful TV production of The Sound of Music last year. He is also working on next year’s Chicago Lyric Opera’s Carousel starring Steven Pasquale.