Stranger Things: The First Shadow set for the West End’s Phoenix Theatre

Netflix and Sonia Friedman Productions have announced further details of the new Stranger Things stage show coming to the Phoenix Theatre in London.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow will open in London’s West End in 2023.

Based on an original story by the Duffer Brothers, Jack Thorne and Kate Trefry, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, a new play written by Kate Trefry, will receive its world premiere in late 2023 at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End, directed by Stephen Daldry with co-direction by Justin Martin.

Produced by Netflix and Sonia Friedman Productions, the play will go on sale this spring, details of which will be announced later this month. The Duffer Brothers act as creative producers, with 21 Laps as associate producer.

The show is to be directed by Olivier and Tony Award winner Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot The Musical, Netflix’s The Crown, An Inspector Calls), and written by Kate Trefry, who has written for the Stranger Things TV show.

The stage play is set within the mythology and world of Stranger Things. The show’s synopsis is:

Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.

Audiences are promised that “this gripping new adventure will take you right back to the beginning of the Stranger Things story – and may hold the key to the end.”

The Stranger Things stage show will be produced by West End and Broadway impresario Sonia Friedman (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Book of Mormon, Funny Girl, Merrily We Roll Along). Also producing will be Daldry, and the TV show’s creators – the Duffer Brothers, plus the Stranger Things TV show’s producers 21 Laps will associate produce.

This new stage adaptation of the hit Netflix TV series was first announced last July, and subsequent casting rumours have been circulating for some time, including a casting search for George Smith and Betty Olsen, who are both 14 years old.

Director of Stranger Things: The First Shadow – Stephen Daldry – started his career at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre and has directed extensively in London, the UK’s regional theatres and around the world. In London he was Artistic Director of the Gate Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre. His 1992 National Theatre production of An Inspector Calls was an enormous hit, playing the National, London, Broadway and multiple productions around the world; as was his multi-award winning production of Billy Elliot the Musical, adapted from his movie, which won ten Tony awards in 2009 including Best Musical.

His film work includes Billy Elliot, The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; and TV includes the smash-hit Netflix series The Crown.

Joining Stephen Daldry in the creative team is co-director Justin Martin, set design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound design by Paul Arditti, illusions design by Jamie Harrison & Chris Fisher, video design by 59 Productions, movement direction by Coral Messam, wigs, hair and make-up design by Campbell Young Associates, casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG, international casting consultancy by Jim Carnahan, Gary Beestone for Gary Beestone Associates is Technical Director, with further creative team members to be announced.

No casting has yet been revealed for the show.

More about Stranger Things: The First Shadow in London

The Quotes

Matt and Ross Duffer said: “We are beyond excited about Stranger Things: The First Shadow. Collaborating with the brilliant Stephen Daldry has been nothing short of inspiring, and Kate Trefry has written a play that is at turns surprising, scary, and heartfelt. You will meet endearing new characters, as well as very familiar ones, on a journey into the past that sets the groundwork for the future of Stranger Things. We’re dying to tell you more about the story but won’t – it’s more fun to discover it for yourself. Can’t wait to see you nerds in London!”

Sonia Friedman said: “The world and mythology of Stranger Things has enabled a rich and fertile ground for creating an incredible story for the stage. The Duffer Brothers have built a huge global following for good reason, and a world-class creative team has built on their boundless imagination to dream up an unbelievably exciting theatrical event for our audiences. Set within the canon of Stranger Things, this new play opens in London, with the West End hosting the only place in the world to experience this new story – for now. I’m thrilled to reunite with my visionary long-term collaborator Stephen Daldry. Together, with our brilliant Netflix partners, we can’t wait to welcome Stranger Things fans into theatre, and theatregoers into the realm of Stranger Things.”

Greg Lombardo, VP Live Experiences for Netflix said, “Stranger Things has captured the imagination of fans around the world and we are incredibly thrilled to expand this exciting universe with Netflix’s first live stage production. With the creative talents of Matt and Ross Duffer combined with Sonia Friedman and Stephen Daldry, theatregoers will be swept up in a truly epic event worthy of Stranger Things.”

Stranger Things: The First Shadow

Phoenix Theatre, 

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📷 Main photo: Stranger Things

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