Before it heads to Broadway for a March 9, 2017 bow, Groundhog Day, the upcoming musical based on the classic 1993 Bill Murray comedy, will have its world premiere in London. Beginning in June 2016, the tuner will play the Old Vic where Artistic Director Matthew Warchus has just taken over from longtime resident Kevin Spacey. The new spin on the time-loop movie was announced earlier this month with Danny Rubin, who co-wrote the script for the film, writing the book. The production team behind Matilda, including Warchus, composer-lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and set and costume designer Rob Howell, are also aboard.
News of the world premiere comes as Warchus, who spent 25 years freelance directing, is stepping in to fill the top Old Vic spot after Spacey’s 11-year stint at the helm. A gala goodbye fête was held for Spacey on Sunday and the Old Vic officially released plans for its new season today.
Along with Groundhog Day, Warchus says he has set a number of productions that demonstrate “our aim to present more productions per year, of wide-ranging work, in a ‘something for everyone’ approach which reflects my own eclectic tastes and love of this unique and uplifting art form.”
Among the other shows planned are a musical based on Dr Seuss’s The Lorax; an update of Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape; Ibsen’s The Master Builder with Ralph Fiennes, written by David Hare and directed by Warchus; Future Conditional, a new play by Tamsin Oglesby with The Trip‘s Rob Brydon; a Warchus-directed adaptation of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker with Timothy Spall; and a dance production of Jekyll & Hyde.
Warchus will also add Variety Nights on Sundays and has plans for a musical adaptation of his 2014 BAFTA-nominated feature Pride. Some of the productions are likely to transfer to the West End or go direct to Broadway via a partnership with Groundhog Day musical producer Scott Rudin and Sonia Friedman.