World Book Day: Six of the best book-to-stage adaptations

To celebrate World Book Day, we’ve rounded up six of the best book-to-stage adaptations.

From the Wonderful World of the Wizard of Oz, to the historical heartache of Les Misérables and night-long laughs of The 39 Steps, these world famous productions all hail from must-read novels. Which is your favourite?

39 steps world book day

1. The 39 Steps
Patrick Barlow’s take on Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller continues to leave audiences in stitches at the Criterion Theatre. Hailed as hilarious and brilliant by critics, this tale of double-crossing secret agents and beautiful women is fast-paced and funny at every turn.

Les Miserables world book day

2. Les Misérables
The stage adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th-century novel definitely requires just as many tissues as the historical original. Cameron Mackintosh’s legendary production captures the emotional tale of ex-convict Jean Valjean with every note of passion that was penned all those years ago. A must for World Book Day.

Gruffalo world book day

3. The Gruffalo
One of the most popular children’s tales of today’s generation comes to life inside London’s Lyric Theatre. Depicting the story of one mouse’s stroll through the dark woods, audiences follow as his cunning ways help him to evade danger from every animal he encounters. Expect big songs, family laughs and frightening fun for children.

wizard oz many

4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Wicked)
Without L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, the untold story of the witches of Oz would’ve remained as such. Today, we have Wicked the Musical to detail the unlikely friendship between two characters who originate from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

charlie and the chocolate factory world book day

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Chances are, you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve read Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The 1964 children’s book manages to never lose its charm whatever your age, and the musical production by Sam Mendes is just as deliciously dark.

The Railway Children world book day

6. The Railway Children
Nowhere does Edith Nesbit’s 1906 novel come to life better than inside London’s King’s Cross Station. Mike Kenney has adapted the classic tale with help from a fully-functioning train track, alongside appearances from Jeremy Swift and Caroline Harker. You need to see it to believe it.

Let us know your favourite book to stage adaptation at @TicketmasterUK, using #tmBlog.