Musical version of McCullough’s The Thorn Birds to tour UK

Natalie Woolman

Colleen McCullough’s bestselling novel The Thorn Birds has been turned into a musical, which will tour the UK from April 23.

Michael Bogdanov is directing the musical for the Wales Theatre Company. It has music by German opera composer Gloria Bruni and McCullough herself has written the lyrics for the show.

The fashion designer who made Princess Diana’s wedding dress, David Emanuel, has designed the costumes for the production, which will open at the Grand Theatre, Swansea on April 23, with previews from April 4.

McCullough and Bruni have been working on the musical since the early nineties, when the composer sent McCullough three pieces inspired by the novel, which is about passion and violence in the Australian outback.

The novel has sold more than 30 million copies internationally since it was published in 1977 and it was adapted into an American television drama in the eighties.

McCullough, who was brought up in Australia, wrote the book when she was working as a neurophysiologist at Yale University in an attempt to supplement her income.

Casting for the show has yet to be announced.

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