Plans are progressing with the new stage musical version of film classic It’s a Wonderful Life (See The Goss, 18 Nov 2003). Though no dates, venues or cast have yet been confirmed, a workshop involving two dozen singers took place in London this week for potential investors in the £7 million West End production. The musical is the brainchild of Stephen Brown (of Olivier Award-winning Spend Spend Spend renown) and Avalon producer Jon Thoday (Jerry Springer – The Opera), who first had the idea nearly two decades ago. Over the years, problems with obtaining the stage rights – for both Frank Capra's 1946 and Philip van Doren Stern’s original short story, on which it’s based – caused extensive delays. With those now sorted, Brown has been developing the score around a book by Francis Matthews. In Capra’s Christmas classic, Jimmy Stewart played George Bailey who, facing financial ruin, discovers the true riches of love and friendship when an angel shows him what life would be like if he'd never existed. Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and Henry Travers also starred. Thoday told today’s Independent newspaper that, unlike Jerry Springer, with It’s a Wonderful Life, “there’s not a single swear word and it won’t upset anybody.”