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Shrek: The Musical part of Sam Mendes' new line-up

Story by Jack Foley

ANIMATED favourite, Shrek, could be taking a bow on the West End stage, if ambitious plans by theatre supremo, Sam Mendes, are fully realised.

The acclaimed director, who last year stepped down as artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse, unveiled plans for the world premiere of the film favourite, along with 12 other theatrical productions his new company, Scamp Film and Theatre, is working on.

A creative team is currently in the process of being assembled to bring the story of the loveable green ogre, who falls for a princess, to the stage.

While it is not yet confirmed how many of the productions will be directed by Mendes himself, it is anticipated that each of the performances will bear all the quality hallmarks associated with the director’s usual standard of work.

Another highlight of the proposals is a film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical, Fleet Street: Sweeney Todd, about the demonic barber, while acclaimed director, Ed Hall, is to bring the first major revival of the Evening Standard Theatre Award Best Play (1985), Pravda, back to the London stage.

First off the blocks, however, will be the UK premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire's off-Broadway hit, Fuddy Meers, an anarchic comedy tracing 24-hours in the life of an amnesiac, Claire. Angus Jackson will direct Julia Mackenzie and the production will debut in Birmingham, from April 16 to May 8, ahead of its expected transfer to the West End.

As part of the ambitious series, Paul Abbott, the acclaimed writer of State of Play, will move into film with The Kite Runner, the story of two childhood friends, as they grow up in war-torn Afghanistan, which is based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini.

Other films in development by Mendes' company include Tom Fool, a thriller about a 17th Century court jester; The Black Hotel, a romance, and Lifestory, a new film based on the BBC's docu-drama of the same name, following Watson and Crick's race to discover the structure of DNA.

There are also plans for an updated revival of JP Miller's Days of Wine and Roses, a disturbing portrayal of one couple's hopeless alcoholism, originally penned by prize-winning writer, Owen McCafferty, as well as a stage adaptation of the classic film, To Be Or Not To Be, which is being penned by Nick Whitby, and a new production of Macbeth, by the hotly-tipped Katie Mitchell.

There will be a British premiere of Anna In The Tropics, Nilo Cruz's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, and a new play by the screenwriter of I Capture The Castle, Heidi Thomas, which will follow the Russian royal family's final three months in captivity.

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