Billy Team & Lily Allen Prep Bridget Jones Musical
The new musical, which is aiming for an late 2011/early 2012 West End premiere, is being workshopped in London this month, reuniting Billy Elliot’s director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling. And, according to the Daily Mail, an all-star company has been assembled, headed by Sheridan Smith (currently starring in another screen-to-stage musical Legally Blonde) as Jones, with Bertie Carvel and Julian Ovenden as love rivals Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver. They’re joined in the workshop by Marilyn Cutts, Billy Boyle, Tiffany Graves, Cassidy Janson, Richard Frame and Julie Legrande.
First published in book form in 1996 after gaining popular as a newspapaer column, Bridget Jones' Diary charts the often turbulent adventures of a 30-something singleton living in London. It successfully made the transition to the big screen in 2001, starring Renée Zellweger as Jones alongside Hugh Grant as bad boy Daniel Cleaver and Colin Firth as successful lawyer Mark Darcy. The book's sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was also filmed and released in 2004.
Lily Allen is working with her regular collaborator Greg Kurstin on the score, and is thought to have been asked to pen a dozen songs for the show (See The Goss, 1 Jun 2010). Fielding meanwhile has been developing the book and lyrics with Julian Webber, who worked with Daldry on productions including Billy Elliot and An Inspector Calls.
The show will be developed in a similar way to Billy Elliot. An insider told the Mail's Baz Bamigboye that the workshops are to “see if everybody likes each other and creatively can work together ... This is exactly what we did with Billy, which was to try to gauge what can and what can’t work. Essentially, it’s going to be an elaborate read-through with a bit of choreography from Peter.”