Bridget Jones's Diary Musical Workshop to Feature Smith, Carvel, Ovenden and More

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04 Jun 2010

Lily Allen and her frequent collaborator Greg Kurstin have written songs for the previously reported musical version of Helen Fielding's 1996 novel "Bridget Jones's Diary".



According to a report in London's Daily Mail, Fielding has been collaborating on the gestating project with Allen and Kurstin, and three or four songs that they have written will be performed at a workshop to be staged in London imminently. The workshop cast – who will not necessarily go on to appear in the final show – is led by Sheridan Smith (currently starring in Legally Blonde – the Musical) in the title role, played in the 2001 film version by Renée Zellweger. Bertie Carvel (Parade at the Donmar Warehouse and Rope at the Almeida) and Julian Ovenden (Merrily We Roll Along at the Donmar Warehouse, Marguerite at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket and Annie Get Your Gun at the Young Vic) are playing love rivals Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver, respectively (Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in the film). Bridget's parents will be played by Marilyn Cutts and Billy Boyle, with other parts being taken by Tiffany Graves, Cassidy Janson, Richard Frame and Julie Legrand.

Working Title, the London-based film and theatre production company behind the original 2001 film version of "Bridget Jones's Diary" and its 2004 sequel, "Bridget Jones; The Edge of Reason," as well as the film and stage versions of Billy Elliot, are bringing it to the stage. The creative team behind Billy Elliot, including director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling, are reprising those duties for the workshop.

The Daily Mail quotes a person close to the production saying of the workshop, "This is exactly what we did with Billy, which was to try to gauge what can and what can't work. Essentially, it is going to be an elaborate read-through with a bit of choreography from Peter." One decision that needs to be made is whether to have an entirely original score from Allen and Kurstin, or to add in existing numbers such as the R&B ones used in the film.

Assuming all goes well, the project will then be greenlit for production in the fall of 2011 or in 2012.