6 Christmas films that should be adapted for the stage
Wondering how many more versions of A Christmas Carol you can stomach? How about one of these screen-to-stage adaptations for your festive viewing pleasures?
Imagine the fun designers could have with the calamitous setting of this show. Switch Phantom's chandelier for swinging paint cans and Les Mis's revolve for a slippery iced concrete floor. Songs would include "I Made My Family Disappear" and "Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal". We could even ride the trend of boxset theatre and do it as a double-bill with Lost in New York.
The fact that this hasn't already been adapted into a musical and shoved into the Dominion for a festive run is difficult to believe. With a ready-made jukebox score including "Christmas Is All Around", "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and "God Only Knows", it's a hit waiting to happen. We already can't wait for the scenes where the PM dances to "Jump (for My Love)" and Mark flashes his cue cards.
This one may prove a little trickier to adapt for the stage. We're thinking a promenade piece, Punchdrunk stylee, to move the audience between the balmy settings of LA and snow-covered Surrey. We'd kind of like Kate Winslet to be in it too, so tickets might need to be quite expensive to cover her fee, but it'll totally be worth it.
The Polar Express
Robert Zemeckis' 2004 film featured a cast including Tom Hanks and was animated using live action motion capture animation – not unlike the RSC's efforts to animate Ariel in their recent production of The Tempest. So we'd borrow all their lovely state-of-the-art equipment and set our stage adaptation in the King's Cross Theatre (yes we know we'd have to rebuild it, but this is all just wishful thinking anyway) where they've already got a ready-made train track from their production of The Railway Children.
One for the adults, this tale of a pair of professional thieves who dress up as Santa and his Elf in order to rob shopping malls has got plenty of potential for a raucous stage adaptation. We'd recommend teaming up with Comedy About a Bank Robbery creators Mischief Theatre – experts in creating calamitous capers.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton's 1993 stop-motion dark fantasy has a score already with songs including "This Is Halloween" and "Kidnap the Sandy Claws", so it's journey to the stage would be a natural one. We'd team them up with Handspring Puppet Company (the guys behind War Horse) and Manual Cinema whose blend of shadow puppetry and cinematic techniques would suit this project to the ground.