Designer John Napier famously reconfigured the West End’s New London Theatre for Trevor Nunn’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, which ran at the address for 21 years. We hear he’ll be keeping the builders busy for his new show at the theatre, the new musical adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. Napier wants an epic set to match the epic nature of the story. As a result, several rows of the stalls, and perhaps a few hundred seats, may need to be removed to accommodate the sprawling set, on which the American Civil War will be played out alongside the romance of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler.

There’s still no announcement about casting, but amongst the names in the rumour mill for Rhett and Scarlett are Hugh Jackman and Jill Paice. After being seen in Nunn’s 1998 NT revival of Oklahoma!, Australian Jackman has of course hit it big in Hollywood, but he likes to return to his musical roots. He won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz. American Paice made her West End debut in Nunn’s production of Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White.

Gone with the Wind receives its world premiere on 22 April 2008 (previews from 5 April) at the New London, where it’s initially booking through to 27 September 2008 (See News, 3 Jun 2007). It has music and lyrics by Margaret Martin.