Paul McCartney is still finding creative firsts to pursue in his legendary career.
Sir Paul will be writing the music and lyrics for the new musical stage adaption of It’s a Wonderful Life. Tony Award winner Lee Hall will also be contributing to the lyrics and is writing the book for the production. Bill Kenwright will be the show’s producer.
In a statement on the project, McCartney said, “Like many of these things this all started with an email. Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for. Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun. ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is a universal story we can all relate to.”
Kenwright recalled when McCartney submitted the first piece of music for the production, “It was a Friday night and I was in the office. I suppose you could say it hadn’t been the best of weeks. No real progress on multitudinous film and theatre projects – and Everton had lost the previous Saturday. Out of the blue I got an email from Paul asking my thoughts on his first stab at an opening song. He wasn’t sure – but wanted to know what Lee and I thought of it? I played the demo. Lee and I were unanimous. Our hero was a musical theatre writer!”
Kenwright added, “Working with Paul on “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a dream realised. To be honest I was hooked on first hearing him say “one/two/three/four” on the demo of the opening number! But since then it’s been an extraordinary journey – on every song I experience Paul’s unique gift of melody and composition. It’s musical theatre – but it’s always McCartney.”
Hall concured and added, “It’s A Wonderful Life is my favourite film. It has absolutely everything comedy, pathos and a rare humanity which has touched generation after generation. Yet it just couldn’t be more relevant. To give it a life on the stage is an immense privilege in itself but to do with Paul McCartney is off the scale. Paul’s wit, emotional honesty and melodic brilliance brings a whole new depth and breadth to the classic tale. I feel as if an angel must be looking after me.”
A premiere date and theater location have yet to be announced, but when that information becomes public, expect that to be one of the hottest tickets around.