Du Maurier’s Birds Bring Horror to West End???Date: 31 March 2008
Daphne du Maurier’s 1963 short story The Birds, set in a coastal town where the hungry birds start to attack people, is best known from Alfred Hitchcock’s black and white film starring Tippi Hedren. Du Maurier, however, wasn’t such a fan of Hitchcock’s version, which relocated the action from Cornwall to northern California.
Would she like a planned stage version any better? Irish playwright Conor McPherson – whose many original plays, including The Weir, Shining City and, most recently in London, The Seafarer, are known for their own supernatural qualities – has been working on the new adaptation, which producer David Pugh hopes to bring to the London stage later this year.
In a “My Week” diary feature with the Independent this weekend, Pugh – whose current productions include God of Carnage and an adaptation of film classic Brief Encounter - revealed that he had a meeting with McPherson, “who I think is a brilliant writer”, last Wednesday. “He (McPherson) had previously written a first draft of a production of the Daphne du Maurier short story The Birds. Today I have breakfast with him and he shows me a second draft. I read it in the afternoon and I think it’s terrific, so I hope to put it on in the autumn.”
As part of the eventful week last week, when God of Carnage premiered to strong reviews despite a power cut on Shaftesbury Avenue on press night (See 1st Night Photos, 26 Mar 2008), Pugh also developed plans for Brief Encounter around the world, including a Hollywood premiere at the famous cinema, Graumann’s Chinese Theater, and a New York transfer care of Woody Allen “who says he has found a great venue”.