Capping a 'wonderful life': Sir Paul writes first musical
Sir Paul McCartney is to write a musical for the first time – an adaption of the 1946 Frank Capra film It’s a Wonderful Life.
The Christmas classic was nominated for five Oscars and tells the story of George Bailey, played by James Stewart, a man who spends his time helping others, but is only stopped from killing himself and shown the value of his own life by a guardian angel.
Sir Paul, who will be working with playwright Lee Hall, was first asked to create the stage production by theatre producer and Everton FC chairman Bill Kenwright three years ago.
Sir Paul, 77, said: “Like many of these things, this all started with an email. Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for.
“Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun.”
He added: “It’s A Wonderful Life is a universal story we can all relate to.”
Mr Kenwright said he knew from when he received the first demo recording from the pop knight that he had made the right choice.
“To be honest, I was hooked on first hearing him say ‘one, two, three, four’ on the demo of the opening number,” he said.
“But since then it’s been an extraordinary journey, on every song I experience Paul’s unique gift of melody and composition.
“It’s musical theatre, but it’s always McCartney.
“Paul, Lee and I use the word ‘cherish’ when we refer to our source material and that’s what we intend to do, cherish Frank Capra’s creation.”
Lee Hall is a multi-award-winning film and theatre writer, with hits such as Billy Elliot and Rocketman to his name.
“To give (It’s A Wonderful Life) a life on the stage is an immense privilege in itself, but to do it with Paul McCartney is off
the scale,” he said.
“Paul’s wit, emotional honesty and melodic brilliance brings a whole new depth and breadth to the classic tale.
“I feel as if an angel must be looking after me.”