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Elton John’s Animal Farm Musical

What is the connection between spontaneous musical numbers and Orwellian dystopia?  Talking animals, it seems.

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The Daily Mail is reporting on Elton John and Lee Hall‘s attempts to adapt Animal Farm into, yes, a stage musical.

Mr. Hall, who also wrote the screenplay for the film version of “Billy Elliot,” told The Daily Mail that it took about two years to secure the rights for the project, and that he is now “deep into it, writing songs for pigs and other four-legged friends.”

And yet… try as I might… I can’t summon up complete loathing for this project. On the one hand, musicals tend to make weighty subjects silly.  On the other: Les Miserables.  On the one hand, Elton John.  On the other, apparently Billy Madison was really good?  One the one hand, Animal Farm does have a lot of quotable lyric lines in it.  On the other, people in animal costumes.

Mr. Hall added, “Elton likes to have the lyrics done and have them in front of him so I’ll work on a batch before I give him anything to look at.” He said it would probably take another two years before the musical is finished. No producers or theatrical companies are officially attached yet, and no actors have been announced to play Napoleon, Snowball and their oppressed and corrupted barnyard pals.

At least I have a lot of time to think about it.

P.S. of Awesome

On getting the rights to an Animal Farm adaptation:

At one time the CIA controlled the animated screen rights which enabled the covert organisation to make a film pointing out the dangers of Stalinism and communism.

(via The New York Times.)

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