After various workshops, Christopher Hampton’s musical version of Daphne Du Maurier’s classic 1938 novel Rebecca could be hitting the West End next year, possibly following Priscilla Queen of the Desert into the 1400-seat Palace Theatre. The musical, which has a score by Sylvester Levay, premiered in Vienna in 2006, but has been reworked under the direction of Francesca Zambello and Michael Blakemore. Amongst the other musicals jockeying for Theatreland’s bigger theatres in 2011 are the Broadway transfer of Shrek! (tipped for the 2200-seat Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and the screen-to-stage adaptation of Ghost (slated for the 1200-seat Piccadilly), with music by the Eurhythmics’ Dave Stewart.

In Rebecca, following the death of his first wife Rebecca, Maxim de Winter returns to country estate Manderley, accompanied by his new wife. But the second Mrs de Winter soon discovers that the ghost of the seemingly perfect Rebecca still has a strong hold on her husband and his housekeeper Mrs Danvers. Rebecca was famously filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940 with Laurence Olivier playing De Winter. In 2005, Nigel Havers starred in a play adaptation by Frank McGuinness which had success on tour but failed to secure a West End transfer.