Every so often, a new musical comes along that reignites the theatre-obsessed part of me. After what feels like a significantly longer drought from this alter ego, Broadway heart of mine; this latest news has reignited a spark. Forever queen, Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine is making her musical debut, taking F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel, The Great Gatsby to the stage.
Honestly, I couldn't picture a more fitting partnership if I tried. If you happen to be familiar with the events of the literary world, you would know that on January 1 of this year, Fitzgerald's iconic tale officially entered the public domain. What does this mean exactly? Well, for starters, it means the novel is no longer protected by copyright laws; and can be reproduced without permission. Naturally, there was understandable concern over who would be the first to present their own interpretation of the novel. Cementing some much-needed peace of mind, (at least for myself), Welch has officially signed on to write a musical adaptation of the book – with plans to hopefully run the production on Broadway.
The Grammy-nominated artist will collaborate with pianist Thomas Bartlett on the project; with Welch penning the lyrics and Bartlett working his magic on the music arrangement. The duo will work with Martyna Majok who will write the musical’s book, Jeanie O’Hare who will serve as the story consultant, and director Rebecca Frecknall.
Announcing her role in the production, Welch shared; “Musicals were my first love, and I feel a deep connection to Fitzgerald’s broken romanticism. It is an honour to have been offered the chance to recreate this book in song.”
If you're still wondering why Welch feels like such a natural and obvious fit, it's probably because this isn't her first interaction with the Fitzgerald story. For Baz Luhrmann's extravagant retelling of the novel in 2013, Welch's harrowing song, Over the Love became the feature track for the film. As someone who already has a strong connection to the tale, it seems that The Great Gatsby is definitely in safe hands with Florence Welch.
Stay tuned to find out whether The Great Gatsby, A New Musical will make its way to Australian shores.