Only a few months after The Great Gatsby went into the public domain in January, the inevitable has happened: A musical adaptation of the book is in development. The producers Len Blavatnik and Amanda Ghost, of the production company Unigram, and Robert Fox have announced plans for a stage version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale of 1920s excess and high school English class-ready symbolism that will feature songs from the personification of Art Nouveau herself, Florence Welch. Welch is writing the lyrics for the show as well as the music with Thomas Bartlett, also known as Doveman. Rebecca Frecknall, director of the West End’s recent acclaimed Summer and Smoke, is directing the musical, while Martyna Majok, a 2018 Pulitzer Winner for her play Cost of Living, is writing the book. Dramaturg Jeanie O’Hare is working as a story consultant. In a release, the production said it plans to announce a timeline for pre-Broadway engagement soon.
Welch did of course already contribute to the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s nearly-musical, very over-the-top film version of The Great Gatsby with the song “Over the Love.” But this isn’t another Moulin Rouge! where the movie is becoming a musical. It seems that Welch is just such a big Fitzgerald fan she wanted to keep writing her own music about the book. “This book has haunted me for a large part of my life,” she said in a press release. “It contains some of my favourite lines in literature. Musicals were my first love, and I feel a deep connection to Fitzgerald’s broken romanticism. It is an honour to have been offered the chance to recreate this book in song.” Beltresses who want to play Daisy Buchanan, get your best flapper looks ready for auditions. Wait, is Daisy more of a soprano role? Okay, well, Jordan Baker definitely belts.