16 TV shows we'd love to see on stage
Shows like The Twilight Zone, Upstart Crow, Yes, Minister and Early Doors have all made the leap – but which shows would we love to see on stage?
TV has been a great source for stage material – The Twilight Zone, Fawlty Towers and Early Doors have all made transitions from the small screen to the theatre. Even Bridgerton looks set to be getting the treatment.
But TV is a huge industry and there are some cult classics out there that are crying out for a venue – what would you be most interested in seeing? Here are 15 shows we'd definitely enjoy. Of course, new original musicals are also really rather great, so please support them.
1. The West Wing
Cicero, Thomas Cromwell and...Jed Bartlet? We'd love to see The West Wing get the full six-hour treatment from Mike Poulton after his successes with Imperium and Wolf Hall. Who wouldn't want to see a White House embroiled in intrigue and conflict? Someone call the RSC.
2. Absolutely Fabulous
Perhaps one of the greatest ever UK sitcoms, the Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley-touting sitcom has millions of fans across the world. Saunders may have announced that the series is finished, but how about a musical adaptation? Although given Saunders' slightly less than stellar work on Viva Forever, we should find someone else to write the stage version?
3. Black Mirror
Theatre can be the perfect form for dystopia – you only need to look at the successes of plays like The Nether, Headlong's 1984, or X for proof. So we would be totally up for seeing some Charlie Brooker warped drama on the stage. Though hopefully with fewer pigs!
Empire became a huge stateside hit when it first opened, bagging award nominations left, right and centre. The plot for the show has a distinctly Shakespearean vibe – a hip-hop mogul must choose a successor among his three sons who are battling for control over his multimillion-dollar company. Music is central to the show, so could we add songs and dance routines and see it on a stage?
5. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Another one that'd be perfect for the musical treatment with an extra dose of '90s nostalgia – embellished with Will Smith's extensive back catalogue.
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It's the sort of vampire-slaying, fantasy TV show that only comes along once in a lifetime, and we think it's only fair that it comes to us live on the stage. They have already done a musical episode after all!
7. Peaky Blinders
It's the TV show that made Birmingham sexy – thanks in no small part to the crack cast led by Cillian Murphy and Helen McCrory. So we want the same story on the stage – though according to one of the show's stars apparently a ballet and musical are very much in the works. We'd be happy with that as long as they keep the amazing music.
Considering iconic detective Rebus was adapted at the Birmingham Rep in September, why not give Idris Elba an equally exciting outing in a stage version of Luther.
Lesley Manville has already wowed audiences on stage, so seeing the TV show she leads, Mum, on stage would be a nice treat. As the whole show's set in one house, the production could go full Ayckbourn.
10. This is England
Shane Meadows' seminal film and subsequent TV shows have all been hugely popular with audiences and critics, exploring life from the '80s onwards. Its mixture of laugh-out-loud comedy and social realism could make for a brill stage show.
11. Father Ted
We've been praying for new Father Ted material for years and, from the sounds of it, we've been rewarded – a new musical is on its way! Graham Linehan recently tweeted to say the show, entitled Pope Ted—The Father Ted Musical, was fully written. Divine!
12. The Hour
Abi Morgan's political and journalistic thriller, starring Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai and Dominic West, was unjustly pulled after two seasons back in 2012, but we'd love to see it get one final outing on the stage. Prolific playwright Morgan definitely has enough stage clout to make it happen.
13. The Thick of It
Now that he's finished in Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi must be looking for new project. Well why not bring the foul-mouthed Malcolm Tucker to the stage in a big political comedy for the present day – we'd be intrigued to see how Tucker tackles Brexit...
Another sci-fi biggy, Westworld could be the perfect immersive theatre experience for audiences. With the show featuring robot "replicants" as well as normal humans, punters could be left in a perpetual state of worry as they wander around the venue, working out who's "real" and who isn't.
15. The Night Of
The award-winning crime thriller was a smash-hit when it opened in 2016 starring Riz Ahmed. Set on the streets of New York in the wake of a grisly murder, the show would make for an intense dose of theatre if ever put on the stage. If it worked for The Mousetrap then it can work for The Night Of.
16. Killing Eve
Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge's international spy thriller is a bingeworthy classic and given she's already a bit of a theatre legend, putting the show on stage would be a dream fit. And if stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer came too we'd be more than pleased.