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Shakespeare in Love to get West End play

The play adaptation will open in the West End next summer

Shakespeare in Love is set to become the latest hit film to travel to the West End, with the adaptation of the multiple Oscar winning movie opening next summer.

The film, which starred Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare, Gwyneth Paltrow and Judi Dench, will have its world premiere at London’s Noel Coward Theatre.

Producer Sonia Friedman said the story “cries out to be staged”. She continued: “Shakespeare in Love bursts with life and is a moving and hilarious celebration of everything we love about the inspirational and transformative power of theatre.”

The project has been in development for “several years”. The story is the fictional tale of Shakespeare overcoming writers block when he meets Viola De Lesseps, and their forbidden love inspires Romeo & Juliet.

Lee Hall, who adapted Billy Elliot for the stage, will tackle the screenplay written by Sir Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman.

Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, who set up the Cheek by Jowl theatre company in 1981, will direct and design the productions.

The stars of the production were not announced today, but the producers revealed there would be 26 actors and musicians.

Thomas Schumacher, president and producer at Disney Theatrical Productions said the screenwriters had created a “miracle” before adding: “It is a valentine to the theatre and what better way to celebrate that than to turn to consummate theatre artists.”

The romantic comedy, released in 1998, won seven Oscars including best picture and best director for John Madden; best actress for Paltrow and best supporting actress for Dench.