The 1998 best picture Oscar winner, Shakespeare in Love has been adapted for the stage and is currently playing at the Noël Coward Theatre in London until October 25th. According to The New York Times, the play is based upon the Academy Award-winning original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, who wrote a play for the film several years ago, and then chose to scrap it. The co-producers, Disney and Sonia Friedman Productions, then hired playwright Lee Hall to do the risky job of turning the highly acclaimed film into a play of equal quality.
Director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod had to make dramatic staging choices from among the film's 100 scenes of Elizabethan streets, theatres, and taverns, making the play quite different from its onscreen inspiration.
“We had to completely demolish the film in our minds and then completely rebuild the story from the ground up by using our imaginations and an utterly theatrical approach,” Donnellan tells The New York Times.
Ormerod uses a simple set design with few pieces of scenery and minimal props, such as a mere curtain or single bed. Lighting and movement are the focus of the scene.
Read the full article on The New York Times, and watch the trailer for Shakespeare in Love below.