Paul McCartney is working on his first musical – a stage adaptation of the legendary film, It’s A Wonderful Life.
The Beatle has partnered on the project with theatre and film impresario Bill Kenwright, who will produce the show. The pair were both born and raised in Liverpool, and attended the Liverpool Institute High School (now LIPA - the performing arts academy founded by Paul).
As well as writing the music, McCartney has been working on the lyrics with the Tony Award-winning English screen and play writer Lee Hall, who is also responsible for the book of the musical.
“Like many of these things this all started with an email,” said McCartney. “Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for. Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun. It’s A Wonderful Life is a universal story we can all relate to.”
Kenwright originally approached McCartney three years ago after acquiring the rights to the movie, which was directed and produced by Frank Capra and released in 1946.
“Working with Paul on It’s a Wonderful Life is a dream realised. To be honest I was hooked on first hearing him say “one/two/three/four” on the demo of the opening number! But since then it’s been an extraordinary journey - on every song I experience Paul’s unique gift of melody and composition. It’s musical theatre – but it’s always McCartney.
“Paul, Lee, and I use the word ‘cherish’ when we refer to our source material and that’s what we intend to do. Cherish Frank Capra’s creation.”
McCartney, who has just completed the US leg of his Freshen Up world tour, is still in the final stages of completing songs for It’s A Wonderful Life, which is set to launch in late 2020.