‘Stranger Things’ Stage Play ‘The First Shadow’ to Premiere in London’s West End Later This Year

‘Stranger Things’ Stage Play ‘The First Shadow’ to Premiere in London’s West End Later This Year

A stage adaptation of Stranger Things, titled The First Shadow, is set to have its world premiere in London’s West End later this year. Netflix announced that the play spinoff of the acclaimed Emmy-winning television series will be presented at the Phoenix Theatre, once Paul Mescal’s A Streetcar Named Desire‘s production comes to an end, according to Variety.

The First Shadow, which is rooted in the mythology of, and is set a quarter of a century before, the sci-fi horror show, was written by the series’ scribe and co-executive producer, Kate Trefry. She based the stage adaptation’s plot on an original story she created with the Duffer Brothers and Jack Thorne. The production will be co-helmed by Tony-winning director Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin.

Daldry reportedly spent a year working with masters of illusion to develop magic tricks and special effects for the play. He set up a series of workshops to help the creative team assess how the effects would look in the production.

The First Shadow is set in the SAG Award-winning drama series’ fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in 1959. At the time, the area is considered to be regular town with regular worries.

Young Jim Hopper’s (who’s played by David Harbour on the show) car won’t start; Bob Newby’s (who was portrayed by Sean Astin on the series’ second season) sister won’t take his radio show seriously; and Joyce Maldonado (who’s played by Winona Ryder on the show) just wants to graduate and get out of town. When new student Henry Creel (who’s portrayed by Jamie Campbell Bower as an adult and by Raphael Luce as a child on the series) arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy…and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.

Tickets for the stage adaptation, which is being produced by Netflix and Sonia Friedman Productions, will go on sale this spring. The Duffer Brothers, who created Stranger Things, are serving as creative producers, while 21 Laps is credited as an associate producer. Netflix is also serving as a producer on the play.

Friedman, whose credits include The Book of Mormon and Ghosts, said she wanted to serve as a producer on The First Shadow because Stranger Things “enabled a rich and fertile ground for creating an incredible story for the stage.”

“We are beyond excited about Stranger Things: The First Shadow,” the Duffer Brothers also said about the play in a statement. “Collaborating with the brilliant Stephen Daldry has been nothing short of inspiring, and Kate Trefry has written a play that is at turns surprising, scary and heartfelt. You will meet endearing new characters, as well as very familiar ones, on a journey into the past that sets the groundwork for the future of Stranger Things. We’re dying to tell you more about the story but won’t — it’s more fun to discover it for yourself. Can’t wait to see you nerds in London!”

The First Shadow‘s creative team includes set design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Brigitte Reiffenstuel, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound design by Paul Arditti, illusions design by Jamie Harrison and Chris Fisher, video design by 59 Productions and movement direction by Coral Messam. Wigs, hair and make-up are being provided by Campbell Young Associates. Gary Beestone for Gary Beestone Associates is serving as the stage adaptation’s technical director.

Casting for The First Shadow is being handled by Charlotte Sutton CDG. International casting consultancy is being handled by Jim Carnahan.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

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