Trevor Nunn’s musical adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel starts previews at the West End’s New London theatre tomorrow night (5 April 2008) ahead of its world premiere on 22 April 2008. One preview, originally scheduled for tonight, has been cancelled after Natasha Yvette Williams, the actress who plays Scarlett’s maid Mammy, injured her ankle.
Set in Georgia in the 1860s, Gone with the Wind follows Scarlett’s journey from a life of luxury on her father’s plantation through the Civil War and the hardships it heaps on her and her family to the rocky post-war peace, with her love for Ashley Wilkes and the renegade Rhett Butler adding fuel to the fire.
Danesh & Paice (above) strike the same pose from the 1939 film poster (below).
In development for more than three years, Gone with the Wind has music and lyrics by Margaret Martin. The premiere production is directed by Nunn and designed by John Napier, who worked with Nunn on blockbuster page-to-stage adaptations of Les Miserables and Cats, the latter finishing its 21-year run at the New London in May 2002. It’s produced by Aldo Scrofani and Colin Ingram.
One of the best-selling novels of the 20th century (the only book that's sold more, apparently is The Bible), Gone with the Wind was made into one of Hollywood’s highest-grossing films, a winner of ten Oscars. It starred Leigh and Gable, whose final line – “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” – has gone down in cinematic history.
In addition to Paice, Danesh and Williams (See News, 21 Dec 2007), the cast of the new stage version also features Edward Baker-Duly (as Ashley Wilkes), Madeleine Worrall (Melanie) and Jina Burrows (Prissy). Others in the company include Emily Bryant, Gareth Chart, Laura Checkley, Julian Forsyth, Kirsty Hoiles, Chris Jarman, Tober Reilly, David Roberts, Tom Sellwood, Ray Shell, Savannah Stevenson, Gemma Sutton, Sue Jane Tanner, Susan Tracy and Alan Winner.
- by Terri Paddock