Arts Entertainments

Paul McCartney speaks out on his upcoming It’s A Wonderful Life musical | Theatre | Entertainment

Back in 2019, Sir Paul McCartney announced he was working on a stage musical adaption of the classic Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life.

The iconic 1946 film starred James Stewart as George Bailey, a suicidal man who is saved by a guardian angel on Christmas Eve, showing him what life would be like if he hadn’t existed.

Upon the news four years ago, The Beatles legend said: “Like many of these things this all started with an email. [Producer] Bill [Kenwright] had asked if it was something I might be up for. 

“Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with [book and lyrics writer] Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun. 

“It’s A Wonderful Life is a universal story we can all relate to.”

McCartney has now given a long-awaited update after being asked about the show’s progress in an end-of-the-year fan Q&A on his official website.

The fan asked: “Will we ever get to hear the songs that you wrote for a musical stage version of It’s A Wonderful Life?”

Macca replied: “I hope so, yeah! Musicals are difficult things to put together, but I think it may be shaping up at last. So, hopefully you’ll get to hear the songs.” 

At the time of the musical’s announcement, Bill shared what it was like hearing McCartney’s seven demo songs for It’s A Wonderful Life.

The producer said at the time: “Out of the blue I got an email from Paul asking my thoughts on his first stab at an opening song. He wasn’t sure – but wanted to know what Lee and I thought of it? I played the demo. Lee and I were unanimous. Our hero was a musical theatre writer! 

“[The other six demos] exceeded expectations for both of us. The songs take you somewhere you don’t expect to go. They sound simple – but it’s deceptive. That’s Paul’s genius. I don’t have to tell any lover of music how extraordinary he is – but he constantly takes my breath away. Since we worked together on the The Pitmen Painters Lee has been a special writer and person to me. And it’s a privilege to watch Paul and Lee create so vibrantly together.”

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