Friday, June 7

Gary Barlow Writing New Songs for Finding Neverland

The musical Finding Neverland is based on a movie of the same name that starred Johnny Depp as Barrie and Kate Winslet as Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, whose four sons befriended the author.

It ran at the Curve Theatre in Leicester last September .with a West End run mooted  starring Julian Ovenden as Peter Pan author J M Barrie and Rosalie Craig as  Sylvia Llewellyn Davies (mother of the boys).

It had pretty mixed reviews with producer Harvey Weinstein saying at the time: “The show needs to get better. Everyone pretty much concurred that it’s Act I that needs fixing, the first 20 minutes especially, as we figure out the best ways to introduce the characters, set up their relationships".

He also blamed himself for cutting a character played by Dustin Hoffman in the movie who provided bursts of humour saying “That character gave the production levity, so restoring him is one of the first things we’ll try."

Well it now looks as though Mr Weinstein is ready for the resurrection with Gary Barlow now on board writing new songs.  According to Baz in today's Mail he has already written five songs to add to the the score of existing composer and musical arranger Scott Frankel and lyricist Michael Korie. Several of the numbers they originally wrote have been dropped with Weinstein saying:  "We love what Gary’s written. There’s one number he’s written for Act 2 that’s hummable right away — it’s really melodic."

James Graham, who wrote the National Theatre’s hit This House, has been hired to re-write the book in the hope that it will be ready to open in London's West in the Spring.

The creative team meet up in the next few days to review the new songs and book and prepare for a concept album that will be recorded for release over Christmas or in January. Weinstein is hoping that  Johnny Depp and  Dustin Hoffman will narrate the album.

Weinstein also revealed that  Julian Ovenden, Rosalie Craig and other Leicester cast members will be considered for the West End.

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