It’s a new part of the life cycle of any major screen phenomenon – sooner or later, you head to the stage. There is, of course, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, a ballet for Peaky Blinders, a Game Of Thrones production in the works – and now, it’s the turn of Stranger Things. If you need something to fill the void before the fifth and final season emerges on Netflix (likely a few years off yet), then you’re in luck – a prequel play to the Duffer Brothers’ sci-fi-horror saga is coming to the London stage later this year.
The show is titled Stranger Things: The First Shadow, and it’s due to arrive at the Phoenix Theatre in the West End in late 2023 – penned by Kate Trefry (from a story she penned with the Duffer Brothers and writer-of-everything Jack Thorne), with Billy Elliot and The Reader’s Stephen Daldry directing.
Set in Hawkins, Indiana in 1959, the play will feature younger versions of some fan-favourite characters from the show. Here’s the official synopsis: “Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.” The promise, too, is that the play “will take you right back to the beginning of the Stranger Things story – and may hold the key to the end”. Could this be the first taste of where Season 5 will go?
“We are beyond excited about Stranger Things: The First Shadow,” say the Duffers. “Collaborating with the brilliant Stephen Daldry has been nothing short of inspiring, and Kate Trefry has written a play that is at turns surprising, scary, and heartfelt. You will meet endearing new characters, as well as very familiar ones, on a journey into the past that sets the groundwork for the future of Stranger Things. We’re dying to tell you more about the story but won't – it’s more fun to discover it for yourself. Can’t wait to see you nerds in London!”
Ticket information and on-sale dates are due to announced down the line – but you can find more info for now at strangerthingsonstage.com. Let’s see what happens when theatre gets cranked up to Eleven.