Stage Version of Shakespeare in Love to Open at West End's Noel Coward Theatre in July 2014

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13 Nov 2013

Shakespeare in Love, a stage version of the 1998 Oscar-winning film of the same name that won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Screenplay for, respectively, Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, is to be adapted for the West End stage, where it will begin performances at the Noel Coward Theatre in July 2014.

Adapted by Lee Hall (who previously adapted Billy Elliot for the stage from his own screenplay), it will be directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod, the team behind the award-winning international theatre company Cheek by Jowl.

The stage version, which will be produced by Disney Theatrical Productions and Sonia Friedman Productions, will feature a cast of over 26 actors and musicians. The full creative team and cast have yet to be announced.

In a press statement, producer Thomas Shumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Productions, commented, "Everyone who loves the theatre loves what Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman created with the miracle that is 'Shakespeare in Love.' It is a Valentine to the theatre and what better way to celebrate that than to turn to consummate theatre artists:  Declan, Nick, Lee and Sonia are all working at the top of their game and it is an honor for our Disney Theatrical team to partner with artists of their weight and calibre."

Friedman added, "Every now and then a story comes along that cries out to be staged. This is one such story. 'Shakespeare in Love' bursts with life and is a moving and hilarious celebration of everything that we love about the inspirational and transformative power of theatre. This project has been several years in development and Tom Schumacher and I are thrilled to be confirming its world premiere in London."

The story revolves around a promising new playwright Will Shakespeare who, plagued by debt, tormented by writer's block and in desperate need of a new hit, finds his muse in the form of passionate young noblewoman, Viola De Lesseps. Their forbidden love soon draws everyone, including Queen Elizabeth herself, into the drama and inspires Will to write the greatest love story of all time, Romeo and Juliet.

The box office will open in February 2014. For further details, visit www.shakespeareinlove.com.