The National Theatre’s big family Christmas show, the page-to-stage adaptation of Nation (See News, 14 Jan 2009), may not be the only one of Terry Pratchett’s children’s fantasy novels running on the London stage come 2010. The musical version of Only You Can Save Mankind, Pratchett’s 1992 first instalment in his Johnny Maxwell trilogy, is aiming to launch a UK tour, ahead of a West End transfer, in the new year.

In the works for many years (See The Goss, 27 Jul 2001), Only You Can Save Mankind premiered at the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe. It has a score by British composer Leighton James House and lyrics by Shaun McKenna.

Ahead of the new stage production, West End stars including Kerry Ellis, Sharon D Clarke, Zubin Varla and Oliver Tompsett will go into the recording studio this month to record an album of Only You Can Save Mankind, with Pratchett himself joining them on 30 March.

Ten percent of all of the album’s profits will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust. In December 2007, Pratchett revealed that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Since then, he has become patron of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust and has done a great deal of work to raise the profile of the disease and campaign for higher government research as well as making a sizeable donation himself.

Songs from Only You Can Save Mankind - The Album will be available to download individually or as an entire album from Terry Pratchett's news website. If you buy the whole album, it includes a bonus podcast by Pratchett.