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George R.R. Martin is developing a live stage spectacular for Broadway, West End (London) and Australia, that will bring fan-favorites like Ned Stark and Jaime Lannister back to life.

The play is from producers Simon Painter and Tim Lawson (The Illusionists), in partnership with Kilburn Live, and will have a story by Martin, who is working alongside award-winning playwright Duncan MacMillan (1984) and acclaimed director Dominic Cooke (The Courier). The team’s goal is to debut productions in New York, London’s West End and in Australia. The first show is expected to launch in 2023.

The production includes a unique story element that should be a major draw for fans: this will mark the first GOT project to bring back several of the most beloved Game of Thrones characters. The as-yet-untitled play is set during a pivotal moment in Westeros history, The Great Tourney at Harrenhal, a contest that took place just 16 years before the events in Game of Thrones.

From the play’s official description: “The play will for the first time take audiences deeper behind the scenes of a landmark event that previously was shrouded in mystery. Featuring many of the most iconic and well-known characters from the series, the production will boast a story centered around love, vengeance, madness and the dangers of dealing in prophecy, in the process revealing secrets and lies that have only been hinted at until now.”

The cast of characters hasn’t been officially confirmed for the play. But according to Martin’s previously published books, attendees of the event included a young, shy Ned Stark, his rebellious sister Lyanna, cocky teenage Jaime Lannister, powerful Lord Robert Baratheon, lovestruck Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, dashing Prince Oberyn Martell and noble knight Ser Barristan Selmy, among many others (keep in mind, Martin’s Westeros timeline is different than the HBO series).

“The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace,” Martin said in a statement. “Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when highborn and smallfolk alike gathered at Harrenhal to watch the finest knights of the realm compete in a great tourney, during the Year of the False Spring. It is a tourney oft referred during HBO’s Game of Thrones, and in my novels, A Song of Ice & Fire … and now, at last, we can tell the whole story… on the stage.”

The expansion to the stage is reminiscent of J.K. Rowling’s collaborating with Jack Thorne after the conclusion of the author’s Harry Potter saga. Rowling unveiled an acclaimed two-part special-effects-loaded stage show, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which included fan-favorite characters from a very different time period than in her books. Cursed Child debuted in London in 2016 and then expanded to Broadway, Melbourne and Toronto. By 2019, Cursed Child was reportedly the highest-grossing non-musical in Broadway history, having made more than $146 million until it was closed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Said Martin about the Thrones production: “An amazing team has been assembled to tell the tale, starting with producers Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and Jonathan Sanford. Their knowledge and love of my world and characters has impressed me from the very first, and their plans for this production blew me away since the first time we met. Dominic Cooke, our director, is a former artistic director of London’s Royal Court Theatre, who brought Shakespeare’s dramas of the War of the Roses to television, and our playwright, Duncan Macmillan, has previously adapted George Orwell and Henrik Ibsen, among others. Working with them (back before the pandemic, when we could actually get together) has been a treat, and I am eager for our collaboration to resume. Our dream is to bring Westeros to Broadway, to the West End, to Australia… and eventually, to a stage near you … It ought to be spectacular.”

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

MacMillan’s theatrical work includes Lungs; People, Places and Things; Every Brilliant Thing; and an adaptation of 1984. His work has been popular, performed throughout the world, including at the National Theatre, the Old Vic, the Royal Court, in the West End and on Broadway. His screenwriting has appeared on the BBC, HBO, Netflix and at the Berlin and London Film Festivals.

“I have such admiration for George’s world and his characters,” MacMillan said. “His generosity and trust during this process has been incredible. Working on this play during lockdown has felt like a real privilege. I can’t wait until we can be back in a theatre to experience this together.”

Director Cooke previously was the Artistic Director of London’s Royal Court Theatre from 2007 to 2013.

The news follows Martin striking a massive new five-year overall deal with HBO to create content for the network. HBO has already greenlit one Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, which is expected to premiere in 2022.

(The story was broken by The Hollywood Reporter)

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David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.

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