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Elton John, James Graham and Jake Shears' Tammy Faye Bakker musical sets sights on 2021 run

Televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker is said to be the subject of the show

Elton John and James Graham
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Award-winning writer James Graham has revealed further details about his musical with composer, songwriter and performer Elton John and lyricist Jake Shears, male lead singer of the Scissor Sisters.

The musical is based on the iconic Tammy Faye Bakker, a major televangelist in the '80s who famously reached out to HIV/AIDS patients at the height of the AIDS epidemic. Known for her progressive views and eccentric performer, she also built a Christian theme park.

Chatting to The Guardian, Graham revealed that the lockdown "accelerated" the project, due to the fact that John had to cancel a live tour given the ongoing restrictions. According to Graham, "We hope we might get it in to a theatre second half of 2021". Dates and theatre are to be revealed, with previous reports suggesting the Almeida in north London being a potential venue, though nothing is confirmed.

Graham is having a bit of a musical moment – he recently created the lyrics for a National Theatre mini-musical, while also preparing to present a new adaptation of Animal Farm with Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.

Funnily enough, a decade ago there were suggestions that John would also adapt Orwell's political satire. The Billy Elliot and The Lion King composer will be collaborating with Shears, who has previously worked on a musical version of the book Tales of the City and appeared in Kinky Boots on Broadway.

Graham has also revealed he is working on a screenplay for his hit play Ink. You can see Graham talk about the Tammy Faye Bakker musical below:

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