Jay Gatsby will soon be singing a new song.
Florence Welch, the Grammy-nominated British singer-songwriter known for the ethereal baroque pop of Florence and the Machine, will tackle a stage adaptation of the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald Jazz Age novel, titled The Great Gatsby, A New Musical.
The first musical theater project for Welch will see her collaborate with American musician and producer Thomas Bartlett, who records as Doveman and produced the Oscar-nominated Sufjan Stevens song “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name. Welch and Bartlett, who worked together previously on the FATM song featured in the final Game of Thrones season, “Jenny of Oldstones,” will co-write the original score for The Great Gatsby, with Welch penning the lyrics.
“This book has haunted me for a large part of my life,” said Welch. “It contains some of my favorite lines in literature. Musicals were my first love, and I feel a deep connection to Fitzgerald’s broken romanticism.”
The musical will feature a book by playwright Martyna Majok, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2018 for Cost of Living and whose most recent play, Sanctuary City, was in previews at Off Broadway’s New York Theater Workshop last year when stages went dark due to the pandemic. Jeanie O’Hare, who commissioned and developed Matilda the Musical for the Royal Shakespeare Company, will serve as story consultant.
The associate director of London’s Almeida Theatre, Rebecca Frecknall, who won the 2019 Olivier Award for best revival for Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke, is attached to direct the Gatsby musical. The project reunites the rising-star British director with Majok after Sanctuary City, which was to be Frecknall’s American debut.
Len Blavatnik and Amanda Ghost head the production team on The Great Gatsby for Unigram, in association with Robert Fox. Hannah Giannoulis and James Orange serve as executive producers. The show will be co-produced with Access Entertainment, with the timeline for a pre-Broadway engagement expected to be announced shortly.
“Florence’s passion for Gatsby and exceptional musical storytelling will bring this iconic love story to life in ways we have never experienced before,” said Ghost and Fox in a statement. “Martyna and Rebecca are two of the most exciting theater artists of their generation and, together, this extraordinary team brings a thrilling new perspective to one of the most culturally significant books of all time. It’s been 100 years since The Great Gatsby was published and there could be no better time for a new musical adaptation of the greatest party America ever threw.”
While no actors have yet been announced for the project, an original cast recording is slated to be released on Warner Music.