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Film version of London Road musical in the works

Story by Jack Foley

A FILM version of hit stage musical London Road is in the works.

Future National Theatre boss Rufus Norris revealed that casting for the adaptation is currently underway but it was too early to make any announcements. He does intend to finish working on the project before taking over from Sir Nicholas Hytner as The National’s artistic director in April 2015.

Norris directed the stage version of London Road at The National Theatre in 2011, earning a string of five-star reviews from critics that enabled it to be revived at The National in 2012.

The production is set within the community in Ipswich where five prostitutes were murdered in 2006 and features writer Alecky Blythe’s recorded interviews with its people set against music from Adam Cork.

Norris confirmed that the film version would be a musical and that the casting search was looking for actors who could sing.

Speaking at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards on Sunday he told the BBC: “The music of London Road is not like you would imagine in a musical. It involves a huge amount of craft, but not a huge pair of lungs. It’s the musical discipline rather than years of belting it out on the West End stage that we need.”

Norris also confirmed that the residents of Ipswich were behind the film, otherwise it would not have gone ahead.

“We are quoting them word for word so we need permission for every phrase of that,” he added.

Norris has an impressive CV of directing behind him having worked in the West End and on Broadway. Most recently, he directed The Amen Corner at The National and created Dr Dee: An English Opera with Blur frontman Damon Albarn for the Manchester International Festival in 2011.

He has also previously made his feature film debut with the film Broken, which starred Tim Roth, Rory Kinnear and newcomer Eloise Laurence, and which was named best film at that year’s British Independent Film Awards in 2012.

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