Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley's classic 1957 MGM film is to be the basis of a major new musical for the West End and Broadway.


Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley's classic 1957 MGM film is to be the basis of a major new musical for the West End and Broadway.

It has been confirmed today that a new musical Jailhouse Rock, Elvis Presley's classic 1957 MGM film is to be the basis of a major new musical for the West End and Broadway later this year.

The show is being brought to the stage by the writer/director team Alan Janes and Rob Bettinson whose first collaboration, "Buddy", ran for 14 years in London.

Jailhouse Rock, which features a rich catalogue of 1950's rock 'n roll classics, follows the story of a young man committed to prison, who while serving his sentence discovers R&B and gospel music which sets him on the path to becoming a singer, finally to discover that he isn't ready for the corruption that money and fame can bring with it.

A Theatre Partners, Jailhouse Company and Volcanic Island production, Jailhouse Rock, while exploring the original storyline of the film, is set also to break new ground: "Although based on the film, the musical will tell a much bigger story, " says Bettinson. "Using hit songs from the era, the stage production will also unfold the birth of rock and roll - pinpointing its roots in the black music of the time and showing how singers like Presley and those who were writing for artists like him crossed those influences over into the American teenage mainstream.

"This extra element will create a brand new piece for the stage, not relying on the audience having seen the film or being an Elvis Presley fan though Elvis fans will love it too!."

Casting on Jailhouse Rock begins shortly in both the UK and the USA in the search for the 18-year old musical actor who will take the part of Vince, the young man from the wrong side of the tracks who against all odds emerges to become the hottest rock and roll property the world has known.

But while set in the 1950's. Jailhouse Rock promises to be much more than a nostalgia show. Says writer Alan Janes: "while the story addresses the music and changing social patterns of the period, it is at heart a universal story: a challenge against authority and the pursuit of one's own voice. It is a story that youth of all generations can identify with. In style, the show will be very contemporary; those classic images of Presley that we recognise from the film are now very evident in current fashion and style, and we think that what people will see is an extremely modern show.

Jailhouse Rock, co-written by Rob Bettinson and Alan Janes and directed by Rob Bettinson, is based on the motion picture of the same name originally produced by Pandro S. Berman. Produced by Alan Janes, René Sheridan and Michael Berman, and co-produced by Jonathan Alver and Stephen Dee,

The show is set to unveil later this year in the West End and the first American production is projected for 2004.


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