David Baddiel’s The Parent Agency set for musical remake with Dan Gillespie Sells

Comedian and writer David Baddiel is teaming up with Dan Gillespie Sells — musicals composer and the frontman of The Feeling, for a stage adaptation of his debut children’s novel The Parent Agency.

Nadia Fall, artistic director at Theatre Royal Stratford East, is set to direct.

Following the adventures of 11-year-old Barry Bennett, who is transported to an alternate universe where potential parents have to “audition” in front of children, the project is being billed as a male Matilda, with a pre-teen boy taking centre stage in a West End musical.

The show is being put together by John Berry and Anthony Lilley of Scenario Two, producers of the recent Terry Gilliam-helmed Into The Woods at Theatre Royal Bath.

John Berry, who was formerly artistic director of English National Opera, told The Times that: “It is wonderful to have a boy as a central character rather than a girl. We love this idea of this rather eccentric 11-year-old being the driving force behind the whole piece.”

Baddiel wrote the novel after his son Ezra asked him one day why Harry Potter didn’t just run away fro his cruel family, and “find better parents”. Baddiel said that he was “immediately struck by the fantastically bold, childish idea that if you don’t like the parents you can just go and find better ones.”

The book for the musical has been written by Baddiel, with the songs to be penned by Dan Gillespie Sells.

The show is set for an out-of-town opening ahead of a hopeful West End transfer.

It was announced last week that Dan Gillespie Sells’ hit musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is heading back to London this January 2024.

Also announced last week was that Gillespie Sells has written the music to a new stage adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, which is set to come to the @sohoplace theatre from 10 May 2023, starring Mike Faist, Lucas Hedges and Eddi Reader. Book tickets to Brokeback Mountain here.

Other Scenario Two projects on the horizon include a bio-musical about opera singer Luciano Pavarotti.

More about tickets to The Parent Agency musical

📷 Main photo: The Parent Agency musical by David Baddiel and Dan Gillespie Sells

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