Calling all cinema fans and theatre lovers – you won’t want to miss this. An upcoming stage adaptation is set to bring the two worlds together with a first-of-its-kind show. For the first time ever, a film by Stanley Kubrick is set to receive the stage treatment. His cult Cold War satire, Dr. Strangelove, is set to hit the stage next year. And tickets go on sale tomorrow (September 27)!
Who’s responsible for the groundbreaking new play? We can thank co-adaptors, and West End legends of screen and stage, BAFTA and Emmy Award winner Armando Iannucci and Olivier Award winner Sean Foley. And stepping onto the boards to front the production is none other than Alan Partridge himself. Steve Coogan will be fronting the production, playing multiple roles in the play.
The iconic director, Stanley Kubrick, has long used other source materials for his own works. Some of his most famous pieces have found him adapting popular novels and short stories (Lolita, The Shining, A Clockwork Orange etc.) into critically revered films. It was only a matter of time before his own works were adapted themselves into other formats.
And if you’re worried about whether the famously particular director would have approved of the adaptation, a number of voices have already weighed in. Among them, is Christiane Kubrick, Stanley’s widow, who said:
We have always been reluctant to let anyone adapt any of Stanley’s work, and we never have. It was so important to him that it wasn’t changed from how he finished it. But we could not resist authorising this project: the time is right; the people doing it are fantastic; and Strangelove should be brought to a new and younger audience. I am sure Stanley would have approved it too.
The film, whose full title is Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, follows the story of a “rogue U.S. General who triggers a nuclear crisis”. The film famously starred Peter Sellers playing three wholly different roles. While details are thin on the ground for now, we can expect the story to remain the same when it hits the West End.
Said Jan Harlan, Stanley’s long-time producer:
Dr. Strangelove was initially conceived as a serious film based on the novel “Red Alert” by Peter George. During the adaptation Stanley ran into a wall: It was impossible to make a successful film about the end of mankind since nobody, himself included, would want to see it. The answer was satire. Laughing is one of our go-to responses when faced with an inescapable reality. As the film charts our short path to total self-destruction, we must make fun of it and ‘all will be well’.
While it may sound rather absurd that a Cold War satire (and in turn a play) about the absolute destruction of all of mankind might be funny, it is in fact highly regarded as one of the greatest comedies of all time. Rotten Tomatoes included it on their list of 150 Essential Comedy Movies To Watch Now, and EMPIRE placed it at 11th position on their The 50 Best Comedy Movies list.
The stage adaptation of Dr. Strangelove will begin at the Noël Coward Theatre on October 8, 2024. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (September 27). Don’t miss out on what is sure to be a sell-out success, book your ticket here.