Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions has revealed its next musical theatre projects will be completely original shows that are not based on existing source material.
Caro Newling, who oversees Neal Street’s theatrical arm, told The Stage: “There are a couple of musicals we have our eye on, and they would not be based on existing material. A lot of people do bring us movie titles. And we are an obvious port of call for them having done Shrek and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
But she added: “We never set out to do musicals based just on movie titles. Those two came out of very strong relationships with Dreamworks and Warner Bros. They were two lovely opportunities and so we took them. But the next will be new.”
Newling also said that the theatre industry should put more emphasis on reviving contemporary plays.
She highlighted Heidi Thomas’ play, The House of Special Purpose, which Neal Street co-produced with Chichester Festival Theatre, as a production that has been overlooked.
“We talk in this business all the time about why it’s often the case that a great contemporary play doesn’t get revived. Sam would ask why The Real Thing has not been done again, or some David Hare plays. They are plays that have not been seen by the next generation of theatre audiences. We could absolutely do that – revive contemporary classics.”
For a full interview with Newling and Pippa Harris from Neal Street see this week’s paper, available in print and digital.