The McOnie Company will present a workshop of a stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning film The Artist in London in 2023.
Michel Hazanavicius' film, winner of five 2012 Academy Awards, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, will be adapted for the stage by Lindsey Ferrentino and Olivier winner Drew McOnie (King Kong). The latter will also direct and choreograph.
The Artist is set in 1920s Hollywood and concerns silent movie icon George Valentin, who meets aspiring actress Peppy Miller. While her star is about to rise, his might just be about to flicker into insignificance with the arrival of the Talkies.
McOnie says, "Creating the world premiere stage adaptation of The Artist marks not only the start of a new era in my life as a theatre maker but also an arrival moment for The McOnie Company. I have held its development close to my heart for many years, having been mesmerized by the original film. Having the incredible support of Michel Hazanavicius, the mastermind behind the film, is incredibly important to me. The Artist shows us that, even within this noisy world, we can find our voice if we listen with our hearts, and it’s an honor to bring this beloved story to the stage."
Artistic director of The McOnie Company and an associate artist at London's The Old Vic and Birmingham Rep Theatre, McOnie won the Olivier for Best Theatre Choreography for In the Heights in 2016, and he was nominated for the same award in 2017 for Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Ferrentino's produced plays include Ugly Lies the Bone, Amy and the Orphans, This Flat Earth, and The Year to Come. She is the recipient of the 2016 Kesselring Prize, Laurents/Hatcher Citation of Excellence, ASCAP Cole Porter Playwriting Prize, Paul Newman Drama Award, and more.
A full production of The Artist is expected later in 2023 with additional information to come.