Having provided the world with some of the best current satire (The Thick Of It, In The Loop and Veep among them) Armando Iannucci feels like the right person –– if anyone should –– to bring Stanley Kubrick's 1964 classic Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb to London's stage.
No venue (beyond the West End) or casting has been announced yet, but Iannucci has already been busy on what he sees as a timeless topic. "Not just with the war in Ukraine, but also the whole apocalyptic sense of global warming and so on – it feels like a very relevant reassertion of the message that, this is the madness staring at us if we don’t do anything about it," Iannucci told the BBC. "And currently, we aren’t doing anything about it. So the outcome is not good. But if you can leave the theater with that message and a smile, then all the better." Sean Foley is directing the play.
And for the first time, an adaptation has scored the blessing of the Kubrick Estate. "We have always been reluctant to let anyone adapt any of Stanley’s work, and we never have," says the late filmmaker's widow, Christiane. "It was so important to him that it wasn’t changed from how he finished it. But we could not resist authorising this project: the time is right; the people doing it are fantastic; and Strangelove should be brought to a new and younger audience. I am sure Stanley would have approved it too."
Iannucci has taken the opportunity of access to Kubrick's archives to find deleted on never-shot scenes which are becoming moments in the play, which should be on stages next autumn.