Paul McCartney has written many works of art in his lifetime. Now, the singer is looking to conquer new territory as he writes his first stage musical.
McCartney, alongside “Billy Elliot” playwright Lee Hall and producer Bill Kenwright, is writing music and lyrics for the theatre adaptation of Frank Capra’s 1946 film “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the story of a suicidal man who is saved by his guardian angel.
Writing a musical was not something that initially appealed to the former Beatle but, according to The Guardian, he admitted that after a meeting will Hall and Kenwright three years ago, he thought it could be “interesting and fun” and added, “‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ is a universal story we can all relate to.”
Hall, who is writing the script, shared his excitement for the project and working with the 77-year-old.
“To give [It's A Wonderful Life] a life on the stage is an immense privilege in itself, but to do with Paul McCartney is off the scale,” the Tony-Award winner said per BBC. “Paul’s wit, emotional honesty, and melodic brilliance brings a whole new depth and breadth to the classic tale.”
Johnny Oleksinski of The New York Post agrees. On a trip to London, the writer was able to listen to demo tracks and noted that McCartney “segues easily into the musical theater style, while still giving his diehard fans that soulful McCartney sound.”
He added that the British singer “performs every role from George Bailey to Mr. Potter and even tries his hand at acting” and “the more than ten finished songs sound like a bona fide lost Beatles album, with one spectacular number’s rousing ending bringing to mind the ‘Na Na Na Na Na’s of ‘Hey Jude.’”
The “It’s A Wonderful Life” production is aiming for a late 2020 UK release with a later move to Broadway. Dates and venues have yet to be released.