A Game of Thrones stage production is in the early stages of development from producers Simon Painter and Tim Lawson, with the play being written and adapted Duncan MacMillan working alongside author George R.R. Martin. UK director Dominic Cooke is set to direct.
Martin released the following statement:
The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace. Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when highborn and smallfolk alike gathered at Harrenhal to watch the finest knights of the realm compete in a great tourney, during the Year of the False Spring. It is a tourney oft referred during HBO’s Game of Thrones, and in my novels, A Song of Ice & Fire… and now, at last, we can tell the whole story… on the stage.
An amazing team has been assembled to tell the tale, starting with producers Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and Jonathan Sanford. Their knowledge and love of my world and characters has impressed me from the very first, and their plans for this production blew me away since the first time we met. Dominic Cooke, our director, is a former Artistic Director of London’s Royal Court Theatre, who brought Shakespeare’s dramas of the War of the Roses to television, and our playwright, Duncan Macmillan, has previously adapted George Orwell and Henrik Ibsen, among others. Working with them (back before the pandemic, when we could actually get together) has been a treat, and I am eager for our collaboration to resume. Our dream is to bring Westeros to Broadway, to the West End, to Australia… and eventually, to a stage near you.
It ought to be spectacular. -George R.R. Martin
The play will be set during what the production is calling “a pivotal moment in the history of the series,” and will feature many of the well-known characters from the series. Producers hope to stage the Game of Thrones play in 2023 on Broadway, the West End and in Australia.
MacMillan’s theatrical work includes Lungs; People, Places and Things; Every Brilliant Thing; Rosmersholm; and 1984, with stagings at the National Theatre, the Old Vic, the Royal Court, St Ann’s Warehouse, Festival d’Avignon, Theatertreffen, in the West End and on Broadway. His work on screen has appeared on the BBC, HBO, Netflix and at the Berlin and London Film Festivals.
‘I have such admiration for George’s world and his characters,” said MacMillan. “His generosity and trust during this process has been incredible. Working on this play during lockdown has felt like a real privilege. I can’t wait until we can be back in a theatre to experience this together.”
Cooke, who was the Artistic Director of London’s Royal Court Theatre from 2007 to 2013, directed the National Theatre’s Olivier-nominated production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. His TV and film credits include The Hollow Crown: Wars of the Roses, On Chesil Beach, and, most recently, The Courier starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel Brosnahan.
“I am over the moon at being given the opportunity, by the dynamic producing team of Tim Lawson, Simon Painter and Kilburn Live, to bring a new installment of George RR Martin’s epic story to a life on stage,” said Cooke. “One of George’s inspirations for the original books was Shakespeare’s history plays so the material lends itself naturally to the theatre. Duncan MacMillan and I are having a great time digging into the dynastic power struggles at the heart of George’s extraordinary imaginative world and he has been hugely generous and supportive towards both of us.”
Producer Painter is best known for creating large scale touring shows including The Illusionists franchise which he launched with Tim Lawson. Lawson has created and produced theatrical shows around the globe such as Fiddler on the Roof, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, A Chorus Line and Jekyll and Hyde. Kilburn Live specializes in branded live entertainment with a roster of events that include works based on Dr. Seuss, Peanuts, Nerf, Power Rangers, and others. Mark Manuel is the CEO of Kilburn Live.
In addition to Painter and Lawson, Vince Gerardis and Jonathan Sanford will serve as executive producers.