It’s fair to say that Paul McCartney knows a tune or two. Over his massive career, he has written countless number ones, some poetry, the odd film, children’s books and so much more. Now, he is turning his hand to musicals and is working on an adaptation of Frank Capra’s classic ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.
Sir Paul was just a young whippersnapper when the original film was released in 1946. But still the premise of the tale holds true and Macca called it “a universal story we can all relate to”.
The musical is set to debut in “late 2020”, according to acclaimed producer Bill Kenwright, whose credentials include the West End show Blood Brothers and the touring version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Lee Hall, who wrote Billy Elliot and the recent smash-hit Elton John biopic Rocketman, is said to be the man with the pen with regards to the script and will be collaborating with Sir Paul on the lyrics.
“It’s A Wonderful Life is my favourite film,” said the Tony Award-winner. “It has absolutely everything – comedy, pathos and a rare humanity which has touched generation after generation.
“To give it a life on the stage is an immense privilege in itself, but to do with Paul McCartney is off the scale. 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.”
Although Capra’s work has been turned into a musical before, once in 1986 and a more professional adaptation in 1991, this will be the first serious attempt at the iconic film being taken to the stage.
“Like many of these things this all started with an email,” said the former Beatle. “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.”
Kenwright said that Paul’s first drafts of songs “exceeded expectations” adding further “The songs take you somewhere you don’t expect to go. They sound simple – but it’s deceptive. That’s Paul’s genius.”