Leading West End and Broadway producer Sonia Friedman Productions are developing a new musical based on the much loved Paddington Bear books and films.
The new musical – which has a working title “Paddington: The Musical” has a book by Jessica Swale, music and lyrics by founding member of McFly, Tom Fletcher and will be directed by Luke Sheppard (& Juliet, The Little Big Things).
The plan is to premiere the production in the UK in 2025, with further details including full creative team, casting and dates to be announced at a later stage.
Sonia Friedman and Eliza Lumley said today, “It is a privilege to be creating a new musical about this gorgeous and beloved little bear with such a wonderful team. The magic of Paddington is that, through his wide-eyed innocence, he sees the very best in humanity, reminding us that love and kindness can triumph if we open our hearts and minds to one another. We cannot wait to bring Paddington, his antics, adventures and mishaps with the Brown family, and Michael Bond’s other treasured characters to the stage. We hope to inspire audiences of all ages with fun, beauty, joy, and all that Paddington stands for.”
Michael Bond’s first book A Bear Called Paddington was published on 13 October 1958 by William Collins & Sons (now Harper Collins). Since its first publication, the Paddington Books series have sold more than thirty-five million copies worldwide and have been translated into over forty different languages, including Latin.
Paddington has been adapted for television several times – first by the BBC in 1976, voiced by Michael Hordern; and most recently adapted by STUDIOCANAL. Paddington has enjoyed two successful big-screen outings, both by STUDIOCANAL and Heyday Films – Paddington released in 2014, and Paddington 2 in 2017, enjoying critical and commercial acclaim and being nominated for multiple BAFTAs. It was recently announced that the third film in the series, Paddington in Peru, will be released on 8 November 2024.
STUDIOCANAL CEO Anna Marsh comments, “We could not be more delighted to see our beloved Paddington take to the stage shepherded by a talented and visionary team in Sonia and Eliza. They have opened their hearts to show a deep understanding and passion for Paddington that will no doubt transpire on stage and ensure that his adventures, created by Michael Bond over 60 years ago, continue to charm audiences in such a new and innovative way.”
Venue, dates and cast to be announced.