Paddington to be adapted into new musical with songs by McFly star Tom Fletcher

The much-loved story of Paddington Bear is being adapted into a brand new musical, producers announced on Tuesday.

Featuring music and lyrics by Tom Fletcher from McFly, book by Jessica Swale and direction by Luke Sheppard, the musical is due to premiere in the UK in 2025 and will celebrate 65 years since the publication of Michael Bond’s book A Bear Called Paddington.

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Creators behind the award-winning Paddington films Studio Canal, alongside Sonia Friedman Productions and Eliza Lumley Productions on behalf of Universal Music UK, are currently developing the production for the stage, which has the working title Paddington: The Musical.

Friedman and Lumley said in a joint statement: “It is a privilege to be creating a new musical about this gorgeous and beloved little bear with such a wonderful team.

"The magic of Paddington is that, through his wide-eyed innocence, he sees the very best in humanity, reminding us that love and kindness can triumph if we open our hearts and minds to one another. 

"We cannot wait to bring Paddington, his antics, adventures and mishaps with the Brown family, and Michael Bond’s other treasured characters to the stage. We hope to inspire audiences of all ages with fun, beauty, joy, and all that Paddington stands for.”

The much-loved story of Paddington Bear is being adapted into a brand new musicalThe much-loved story of Paddington Bear is being adapted into a brand new musical
The much-loved story of Paddington Bear is being adapted into a brand new musical
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Anna Marsh, CEO of Studio Canal , said she could not be more delighted to see Paddington take to the stage through the creative vision of Friedman and Lumley.

“They have opened their hearts to show a deep understanding and passion for Paddington that will no doubt transpire on stage and ensure that his adventures, created by Michael Bond over 60 years ago, continue to charm audiences in such a new and innovative way,” she added.

As well as being a lead vocalist and guitarist in McFly, whose worldwide record sales exceed 10 million, Fletcher is also one of the UK’s bestselling authors for children. He has also written and composed live shows The Christmasaurus and There’s a Monster in Your Show.

The musical’s playwright Jessica Swale received an Olivier Award for Nell Gwynn in 2016, and is also known for Summerland and Blue Stockings. Award-winning director Luke Sheppard has previously worked on & Juliet, Just for One Day, What’s New Pussycat? and Rent.

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Bond’s Paddington Books series, which follows the bear's adventures as he arrives London’s Paddington station from Peru and is taken in by the Brown family, has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than forty different languages.

The Paddington story was adapted for television by the BBC in 1976, and most recently for film by Studio Canal and Heyday Films with the release of Paddington in 2014 and Paddington 2 in 2017. Both films have received multiple BAFTA nominations.

The third film in the series, Paddington in Peru, will be released on 8 November 2024.

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