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The Duffer Brothers, Matthew Modine and more attend Strangers Things: The First Shadow opening night

The West End world premiere is officially open!

The Duffer Brothers in interview with WhatsOnStage
The Duffer Brothers, © WhatsOnStage

WhatsOnStage was stationed on the red carpet last night for the glitzy official opening of Stranger Things: The First Shadow!

The area directly outside the West End’s Phoenix Theatre was turned upside down as a plethora of stars gathered to celebrate the world premiere of the stage prequel to the global TV phenomenon.

We spoke to the creators of Stranger Things, Matt and Ross Duffer, alongside producer Sonia Friedman, Matthew Modine (who plays Dr Brenner in the series), and Lily Allen (whose husband, David Harbour, portrays James Hopper Jr on screen) to get their thoughts on this epic new Netflix co-produced addition to the West End.

Unlike the ’80s-inspired TV series, the stage prequel is set in 1959 with characters including a young Jim Hopper, Joyce Maldonado, Bob Newby and Henry Creel (played respectively by Harbour, Winona Ryder, Sean Astin and Jamie Campbell Bower on screen).

Featuring an original story by the Duffer Brothers, Jack Thorne and Kate Trefry, Stranger Things: The First Shadow is penned by Trefry and directed by Stephen Daldry, with co-direction by Justin Martin. It has received a fervent review from WhatsOnStage, being described as a “major visual spectacle”.

The West End cast includes Shane Attwooll as Chief Hopper, Kemi Awoderu as Sue Anderson, Chase Brown as Lonnie Byers, Christopher Buckley as Bob Newby, Ammar Duffus as Charles Sinclair, Gilles Geary as Ted Wheeler, Florence Guy as Karen Childress, Max Harwood as Allen Munson, Michael Jibson as Victor Creel, Oscar Lloyd as James Hopper Jr, Louis McCartney as Henry Creel, Isabella Pappas as Joyce Maldonado, Matthew Pidgeon as Father Newby, Calum Ross as Walter Henderson, Maisie Norma Seaton as Claudia Henderson, Patrick Vaill as Dr Brenner, Lauren Ward as Virginia Creel and Ella Karuna Williams as Patty Newby.

Completing the company are Tricia Adele-Turner, Lauren Arney, Reya-Nyomi Brown, Patricia Castro, Lydia Fraser, Isaac Gryn, Mark Hammersley, Tom Peters, Kingdom Sibanda, Tiana Simone, Danny Sykes and Meesha Turner.

Meet some of the principal cast members in our video below:

The production also features scenic design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound design by Paul Arditti, illusions design and visual effects by Jamie Harrison and Chris Fisher, video design and visual effects by 59 Productions, original music and arrangements by D J Walde, choreography by Coral Messam, movement direction by Lynne Page, and wigs, hair and make-up design by Campbell Young Associates. The technical director is Gary Beestone for Gary Beestone Associates, props supervision is by Mary Halliday, dialect coaching by William Conacher, fight direction by Kev McCurdy, casting by Jessica Ronane Casting CDG with additional casting by Charlotte Sutton CDG, and international casting consultancy by Jim Carnahan.

Tickets for Stranger Things: The First Shadow are on sale below.

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