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'The Queen's Gambit' Is Being Adapted Into a Stage Musical

Based on the book behind the hit the Netflix series, the newly announced theatre production will combine singing, dancing and chess moves.
By Sarah Ward
March 09, 2021
By Sarah Ward
March 09, 2021

Over the course of seven episodes, during one of the most-watched Netflix series of 2020, Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) did many things. As a child (as played by Isla Johnston), she discovered an affinity for chess. As a teenager, she savvily turned that talent into a career, hopped around America and the world showing off her skills in fierce tournaments, exceeded everyone's expectations in a male-dominated arena, and battled with her personal struggles along the way.

As Beth moved pawns, studied strategies and enjoyed more than a few drinks, she didn't sing about her feelings, though. Soon, in theatres, that'll change. Yes, following in the footsteps of everything from Heathers and Moulin Rouge! to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Shrek, The Queen's Gambit is set to make the leap from the screen to the stage.

Just announced by US production company Level Forward, The Queen's Gambit musical is slated to become a reality, with the organisation obtaining the rights to turn the novel behind the show — as penned by Walter Tevis and first printed in 1983 — into a theatre performance. It'll join the Alanis Morissette-inspired Jagged Little Pill and the 2019 Broadway revival of Oklahoma! on Level Forward's resume; however, specific details about what the chess-fuelled song-and-dance show will entail remain scarce at this early stage.

So, just who'll star in the musical, which creatives will be behind it, how closely it'll resemble the Golden Globe-winning streaming series, which songs will feature, and when and where it'll premiere are all yet to be revealed. So is any news on whether it'll make the trip Down Under — although folks in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide can look forward to the 2021 season of completely unrelated Chess the Musical in the interim.

In a statement, Level Forward CEO Adrienne Becker and producer Julia Dunetz said "it is a privilege for Level Forward to lead the charge of bringing The Queen's Gambit to the stage through the beloved and enduring craft of musical theatre," reports Variety. "Told through a brave and fresh point of view, audiences are already sharing in the friendship and fortitude of the story's inspiring women who energise and sustain Beth Harmon's journey and ultimate triumph. The story is a siren call amidst our contemporary struggles for gender and racial equity, and we're looking forward to moving the project forward."

Obviously, a musical version of The Queen's Gambit will need to include singing and dancing chess pieces moving around on the ceiling. That just goes with the territory. If you need a reminder why — or, if you haven't seen the series, a few clues about why the program has become such a hit — check out the Netflix miniseries trailer below:

The Queen's Gambit musical doesn't yet have a premiere date — we'll update you with further details when they're announced.

Via Variety. Top image: Netflix.

Published on March 09, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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