the shining stage play

Stephen King‘s The Shining might be destined for Broadway. Director Ivo van Hove will take on a stage adaptation written by Simon Stephens, with reports indicating the production will debut in London’s West End before heading across the pond to Broadway. This actually wouldn’t be the first time King’s haunted hotel novel was adapted to the stage, but it might end up being the most high-profile production.

Forbes is reporting that The Shining stage play is likely destined for Broadway. Ivo van Hove, a director known for his avant-garde experimental theatre productions, will direct, while Simon Stephens, a playwright who penned an adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is working on the script. Shining stage productions have been done in the past: in 2014, a local Omaha theatre staged the story, which took the five-section set-up of King’s novel and worked into a five-act play. In 2016, an opera based on The Shining debuted in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Yes, really. See for yourself.

The Shining Opera

If The Shining ends up on Broadway, it won’t be the first time a King adaptation plays the Great White Way. In 1988, a Broadway musical adaptation of King’s Carrie opened. The production was met with scathing reviews and was eventually pulled after only 16 previews and 5 performances, becoming one of the biggest flops in Broadway history.

Published in 1977, The Shining is one of King’s most popular books. The story focuses on the Torrance family – father Jack, mother Wendy, and son Danny. Jack, an out-of-work recovering alcoholic, lands a job as the caretaker of a fancy hotel – the Overlook – that shuts down for the winter. He brings his family with him – a move that makes the family virtual prisoners of the hotel when they get snowed-in. That would be bad enough, but it just so happens the Overlook is haunted. And to make matters worse, Danny possesses psychic abilities – nicknamed “the shining” – that make him extra vulnerable to the Overlook’s supernatural forces. Over the course of the book, Jack’s mental state slowly deteriorates as the hotel’s ghosts attempt to use him to get to Danny.

King’s novel was famously adapted into a film by Stanley Kubrick, and while Kubrick’s adaptation has grown to become one of the most celebrated horror films of all time, King has always hated it. He hated it so much that he went ahead and wrote a mini-series remake that aired in 1997. It was terrible. King eventually penned a sequel novel, Doctor Sleep, published in 2013. A film adaptation from director Mike Flanagan is due out this November.

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