Elton John, playwright James Graham and Scissor Sisters singer Jake Shears are working on a new musical, Tammy Faye, which is rumoured to premiere at the Almeida Theatre in 2021.
The musical is based on the American evangelist Tammy Faye Messner, who with her former husband Jim Bakker founded one of the leading televangelist groups in the US in the late 70s and 80’s. Widely known for her eccentric and glamorous persona on and off-air, Tammy Faye was religion’s answer to Dolly Parton.
Amidst the scandal of her husband’s infidelity, their excessive spending and eventual fall from grace Tammy re-emerged with her faith intact to become a gay-icon and promoter of tolerance.
A musical version of Faye’s life had previously been in the works with Broadway’s Kristin Chenoweth set star.
A workshop was due to take place in April 2020, however this has now been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Almeida Theatre Artistic Director Rupert Gould is down to direct the production at the Almeida in 2021 with eyes set for West End and Broadway runs.
Elton John, whose credits include The Lion King and Billy Elliot, is also working on the musical adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada which is set to begin tryouts in Chicago this year.