'Bend It Like Beckham' to Become West End Musical

Keira Knightley
AP Images

The Golden Globe-nominated 2002 British comedy served as a breakthrough title for Keira Knightley

Bend It Like Beckham, the 2002 British comedy that helped launch the career of Keira Knightley, will be adapted as a musical for the London stage.

Due to open at the West End's Phoenix Theater next June, the musical will follow the same path as the film, telling the story of a Punjabi Sikh girl — portrayed by Parminder Nagra in the original — who adores soccer but is banned from playing by her parents.

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"Developing Bend It Like Beckham for the stage has been the most enjoyable creative process of my career so far," said the musical's director Gurinder Chadha, who was also behind the movie, in a statement.

"It was always my intention to build on the film and to present its themes and storylines to live audiences in an exciting new dynamic way. I believe we are presenting a totally new kind of musical — part West End, part London Punjabi, but whole-heartedly British."

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Bend It Like Beckham went on to receive both Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations in 2003. In 2010, it became the first Western film to screen on North Korean television.

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