11 romantic comedies that deserve their own West End musical

In honour of The Devil Wears Prada opening on the West End, here are the other romcoms that deserve some stage time

The Devil Wears Prada is coming to the West End – and about time too. Actually no, sorry, About Time doesn’t have its own musical yet. But it should do! With Pretty Woman, Mean Girls and Dirty Dancing all making a big splash in musical theatre, it’s clear that romantic comedy musicals aren’t going anywhere, and nor would we want them to. Here are 11 romcoms that we believe deserve their own West End adaptations.

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Official Trailer | Bridget Jones Diary | Screen Bites

According to our sources (Wikipedia), a Bridget Jones musical has been workshopped but never performed. Which is a shame, as the West End is severely lacking a little Bridget – a heroine to demonstrate that those of us who aren’t the Julia Roberts and Jennifer Greys of the world can still get our own charmingly awkward happy endings. Plus, this might be the first time that a lyricist has an excuse to sneak the phrase “Saddam Hussein’s arse” into a West End number.

Showstopper: A Les Mis ‘The Confrontation’ style duet between Mark and Daniel before they hurl themselves through the window of that Greek restaurant.

When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally (1989) - Official Trailer (HD)

This would be a rock opera, our two titular characters continually locked in a musical sparring match as they figure out whether or not they’re actually friends or something more. Much like Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years, this would be an intimate, character-driven piece – although the autumnal set design would be visually stunning.

Showstopper: Sally’s impossible high note in the climax (apologies) of the diner scene. Wine glasses will shatter.

Love And Basketball

Love & Basketball (2000) Official Trailer - Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps Basketball Movie HD

More rom than com, but the opportunities for basketball-based choreography are ripe – and as we know from High School Musical, that’s always a winner. There’s a great plot here and a fantastic final act, plus the chance to do something very different from anything else on the West End.

Showstopper: That one-on-one basketball showdown has to make for a fantastic musical number.

Pitch Perfect

Pitch Perfect - Trailer (HD)

How is this not already a West End musical? It’s all pretty much there already – all the music team would have to do is insert a few more tracks from the last decade of pop and there you have it. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to drag Anna Kendrick back into live theatre. (The projectile vomiting scenes are maybe something we could leave out, however.)

Showstopper: The riff-off. Obviously. And they better not change a note.


Clueless (1995) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

There is already a Clueless jukebox musical in existence. Original screenplay writer Amy Heckerling brought it to Broadway in 2018, with Dove Cameron as Cher. We believe that the 1995 teen comedy classic is crying out for an original score, however. Just as stage adaptations of Mean Girls and Heathers packed their librettos full of quippy lyrics and nods to the original script, so could Clueless turn “As if!” and “You’re a virgin who can’t drive” into their own musical moments. If nothing else, the costuming will be glorious.

Showstopper: Cher’s light show/fountain realisation that she is “totally butt crazy in love with Josh” should make for a fantastic set piece. Real water preferred, ponchos recommended.

Do Revenge

Do Revenge | Official Trailer | Netflix

This Netflix teen comedy is a newer entry into the romcom hall of fame but no less deserving of a West End adaptation. With a twisty, refreshing original plot and some sorely needed queer representation (for an industry that employs a lot of queer people, musical theatre is lacking in queer characters), a Do Revenge musical would make for a riotous good time. There’s tennis, hallucinogens and a car crash – what other West End show can boast all of that?

Showstopper: The scene in which the entire senior class accidentally ingests magic mushrooms. The composer has full permission to go as surrealist as they like.

About Time

About Time Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Rachel McAdams Movie HD

We want lush strings. We want sparkly percussion. We want that red wedding dress and we want Bill Nighy to resume his role as Tim’s father, because who else could do it quite the same? With The Time Traveller’s Wife just opened, you may question if we need another time travel romance on the West End. And the answer would be yes, we do.

Showstopper: A gorgeous father-son duet between Tim and James that will move the theatre to tears.

10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You -Official Trailer #1 (1999) Heath Ledger Movie

We can already hear Kat Stratford’s poem as a musical theatre ballad. This is another one that we’re astonished hasn’t already been adapted for the stage. After all, name a more perfect end to a love story than a boy gifting you a Fender Stratocaster.

Showstopper: How could it not be Patrick’s marching band serenade? We’d prefer an original score, but Frankie Valli’s ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ is the exception.

Notting Hill

Notting Hill Official Trailer #1 - (1999) HD

Pretty Woman shouldn’t be the only Julia Roberts film we get to see live onstage. This Richard Curtis classic delivers one of the most convincing romances in the romcom genre, thanks in part to the chemistry between Roberts and co-star Hugh Grant. Now, it’s time to find the next William Thacker and Anna Scott and make them sing at each other.

Showstopper: It has to be ‘Just A Girl’, sung by Anna in the travel bookshop (not to be confused with the No Doubt song).

Crazy Stupid Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love. Official Trailer #1 - (2011) HD

Ensemble cast musicals aren’t easy, but if there’s any one worth making then it has to be Crazy Stupid Love. The 2011 film tackles relationships from many angles and brings together a cast of very funny people to tackle a very funny script. The stage version should lean into the comedy just as hard, only to deliver an unexpected punch to the heart. Also, let’s keep Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in it. They’re probably not busy.

Showstopper: Jacob and Hannah doing the Dirty Dancing lift, just a few doors down from where the real Dirty Dancing lift is happening at the Dominion Theatre.

Easy A

EASY A - Official Trailer

Of all the films on this list, this would be the only one that we’d allow to be a jukebox musical – only because Emma Stone dancing around with the ‘Pocketful of Sunshine’ greeting card and her performance of ‘Knock On Wood’ in the school gymnasium are both irreplaceable.

Showstopper: Olive Penderghast and Hester Prynne from Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter reach out to each other across time and space to sing a timely duet about slut shaming and the patriarchy. The critics were divided on this one, but we thought it worked.

The Devil Wears Prada will open at London’s Dominion Theatre on 24 October – find tickets here.

Photo credit: Fox