With UK venues closed because of the pandemic, theatregoers would love to travel forward in time to see a new show. One of the new musicals waiting for them will be The Time Traveller’s Wife, an adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s bestselling novel, with original music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Joss Stone. It is set to open in the UK at the end of this year or in early 2022.
Stewart and Stone, who collaborated on the SuperHeavy album in 2011 and other recordings, have created the songs for the romance between Clare, an artist, and Henry, whose genetic disorder sends him hurtling into his past and future. In a statement, the songwriters said the experience had thrown them “into an eddy of emotive melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics to go with the push and pull of this unusual love story. We all time-travel in our relationships and in our lives in general, but to write something that people will see and hear happening live on stage is thrilling to imagine.”
The musical has additional lyrics by Kait Kerrigan and a book by Lauren Gunderson, America’s most produced playwright, who is best known in the UK for her teen drama I and You, staged at Hampstead theatre with Maisie Williams. Gunderson said that when she first read Niffenegger’s novel she was “floored by its thunderous emotion and potent humanity. I knew this love story belonged on stage with music and vision that matches its emotional punch and soaring feeling.”
The production will be directed by Bill Buckhurst. Producer Colin Ingram said that it will “lift everyone’s spirits as a truly wonderful tonic in post-pandemic world”.
Several other high-profile new musicals are on the horizon once theatres reopen, including The Drifter’s Girl, starring Beverley Knight, and Get Up, Stand Up – The Bob Marley Musical. On Monday, Andrew Lloyd Webber said he was “buoyed by the government’s roadmap” for coming out of lockdown and that he had “put the wheels in motion for a summer reopening” of his shows. His new musical version of Cinderella, at the Gillian Lynne theatre in London, is due to open in late June.