It has been announced that Gary Barlow's Broadway musical Finding Neverland will transfer to the West End at a yet to be announced theatre.
Featuring a book by British writer James Graham (This House) with music and Lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy, the musical is based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name. Described as a "breathtaking new musical" it follows playwright J.M. Barrie, the man who created Peter Pan and the magical world of Neverland. The musical adaptation follows Barrie in a personal and professional journey to realise that the power of imagination and belief in the world around you.
The musical had its premiere at the ART Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2014 in a production directed by multi-award-winner Dianne Paulus. Barlow and Kennedy created a full original score for the musical, with the song "Neverland" premiering at the 2014 Tony Award, performed by Jennifer Hudson. The musical then transferred to Broadway where it opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on 15 April 2015, running for 565 performances to August 2016. The production starred Matthew Morrison in the role of J.M Barrie, alongside British performer and original Mary Poppins Laura Michelle Kelly. Fraiser star Kelsey Grammer opened the production in the role of Charles Frohman/Captain Hook, leaving the production early before returning later in the run. The first US National Tour of Finding Neverland began in October 2016.
Casting for the London production of Finding Neverland is yet to be announced, but tickets are expected to go on sale for the 2017 production shortly.
Finding Neverland will be Gary Barlow's second musical to open in London's West End, following his previously announced show The Girls which opens at the Phoenix Theatre in January 2017.
Produced by Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein, the musical premiered in a different form in Leicester with a score by Michael Korie and Scott Frankel, and was expected to transfer to the West End. This new version, with music by Gary Barlow, opened to mixed reviews on Broadway and was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards and two Drama League Awards.
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Based on the Academy Award-winning film of the same name, Finding Neverland the Musical is the enchanting story of Scottish playwright J.M Barrie who is the toast of London's literary elite. As he receives a new commission for his next play, he struggles to find the right inspiration from his usual sources, finding himself in Kensington Gardens in the heart of London. During one of his walks he comes across the beautiful widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her four young sons, Jack, George, Michael and Peter who amuse themselves in the park by pretending to be pirates. Barrie strikes up a relationship with both Sylvia and her children, and encourages them to use their imagination and 'believe' in the world around them coming to life. Inspired by the boys and their sense of adventure J.M Barrie creates the fictional world of Neverland, full of pirates, mermaids, lost boys and the dastardly Captain Hook. Presenting the idea to Charles Frohman, his rich Producer, the high-society London theatregoers are not amused by the idea, and it takes some time for him to convince them that Peter Pan will be a hit play. Barrie becomes closer to Sylvia to the disdain of his wife Mary and Sylvia's mother Mrs. du Maurier. Taking risks in both his professional and personal life, Barrie discovers that "when you believe you can fly".