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Netflix is turning Stranger Things into a stage play

The First Shadow is a prequel set in 1959 Hawkins

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Artwork for Stranger Things: The First Shadow shows a black figure in silhouette against a window on a red background, casting a long shadow Image: Netflix
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

Netflix has revealed that an official Stranger Things stage play, Stranger Things: The First Shadow, will open in London in late 2023.

The First Shadow is a prequel to the hit series, set in the town of Hawkins in the 1950s. Here’s the blurb from the press release:

Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. 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 get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach. Brought to life by a multi-award-winning creative team, who take theatrical storytelling and stagecraft to a whole new dimension, this gripping new adventure will take you right back to the beginning of the Stranger Things story – and may hold the key to the end.

The play is written by Kate Trefry, a staff writer on the Netflix show, from an original story by Trefry, show creators Matt and Ross Duffer (colloquially referred to as the Duffer brothers), and British playwright Jack Thorne, who wrote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Its world premiere will be at the Phoenix Theatre in London’s West End, and it’s directed by Stephen Daldry (best known for the West End, Broadway, and film productions of Billy Elliot) with co-direction by Justin Martin, who recently caused a London theatre sensation with his production of Prima Facie starring Jodie Comer.

The First Shadow has something of an all-star creative team, then, with strong roots in both the show and London theaterland. There’s no casting news yet, however.

Tickets to the play will go on sale in this spring. Priority access will go to those who register from today at the official Stranger Things: The First Shadow website.

Meanwhile, the Duffer brothers are currently gearing up for the fifth and final season of Stranger Things itself.

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