Stranger Things is coming to the West End

A new stage play based on the smash Netflix series is in the works, with Stranger Things: The First Shadow now confirmed for 2023

The Upside Down is coming to London. Stranger Things: The First Shadow will mark the first stage spin-off for the Netflix show, with an original prequel story written by series screenwriter Kate Trefry, based on a pitch by showrunners the Duffer Brothers and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne, and directed by Stephan Daldry.

The First Shadow will be set in Stranger Things’ hometown of Hawkins in 1959, around 25 years before the events of the TV series. 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 leave town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, things get… stranger.  

Stranger Things debuted on Netflix in 2016 and quickly became one of the platform’s flagship titles – running for four seasons (so far), lifting Kate Bush and Metallica back up the charts, and becoming something of a cultural phenomenon. Mixing horror and sci-fi with a flair for 80s nostalgia, the show follows a group of small-town teens as they battle the supernatural forces spilling out of a gateway to an alternate dimension. 

Thorne’s name on the new stage play is a big clue to what audiences can expect, as his work on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child proved just what can be done with a beloved spin-off – with the new show billed as an origin story that will “take theatrical storytelling and stagecraft to a whole new dimension”. Beyond that, details are still under wraps. 

“It’s at turns surprising, scary, and heartfelt,” teases Matt and Ross Duffer. “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!”

Stranger Things: The First Shadow is due to open at The Phoenix theatre later this year.

CREDIT: Netflix