Trevor Nunn to Direct Gone with the Wind Musical

By John Nathan
Playbill.com
01 Jun 2007

Trevor Nunn
photo by Gautier Deblonde

It has been confirmed that a new musical version of Gone with the Wind will be directed by Trevor Nunn and receive its world premiere at the West End's New London Theatre in April 2008.

It is thought that show will be based more on Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning epic novel rather than the 1939 movie version starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.

With music and lyrics by sociologist-turned-composer Margaret Martin, Gone with the Wind has been in development for three years with Nunn, Martin and producer Aldo Scrofani of Columbia Artists, who has teamed with London producer Colin Ingram for the West End premiere.

Casting has yet to be announced, but as with the film there will be huge interest in who plays the starring characters of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara.

Previous reports have linked Tony Award winner Hugh Jackman and Curtains star Jill Paice to the roles.

Set in 1860's Atlanta, GA, Gone with the Wind takes in America's Civil War and the Reconstruction Period that followed. Mitchell's heroine is 17-year-old Scarlett, who lives a life of luxury on her father's plantation and embarks on a turbulent relationship with the dashing and dangerous Rhett.

In a statement Nunn said, "Having now worked on adapting two vast novels for the stage, Nicholas Nickleby and Les Misérables, I am drawn to the challenge of telling Margaret Mitchell's epic story through words, music and the imaginative resources of the theatre. The major turning point of American history is conveyed through Mitchell's extraordinary cast of characters, black and white, as they pursue their different ideas of the future, and of the past."

Producer Scofani said, "Our task in presenting the musical stage version of this epic combines our obligation to remain true to Margaret Mitchell's original story and characters while also revealing its relevance to our lives today. Our hope is that this theatrical adaptation will cause our audiences to rediscover this timeless and rich story, while also providing each of them a meaningful and memorable experience."

It was recently announced that the New London Theatre will also host Nunn's RSC productions of King Lear and The Seagull — starring Ian McKellen — which arrive at the venue on Nov. 12.

Booking for Gone with the Wind will open in September of this year.
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