The Duffer Brothers: Bringing STRANGER THINGS: THE FIRST SHADOW to the Stage was 'Never Expected'

Matt and Ross Duffer said the concept had not been "not part of the original plans"

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The creators of Stranger Things have said their upcoming stage show is something they "never expected".

According to the BBC, Matt and Ross Duffer said the concept had "not part of the original plans" when they first wrote the script for television eight years ago.

Based on an original story by the Duffer Brothers, Jack Thorne and Kate Trefry, Stranger Things: The First Shadow is a new play written by Kate Trefry. It will receive its world premiere at The Phoenix Theatre in London's West End, directed by Stephen Daldry with co-direction by Justin Martin. Presented by Netflix and Sonia Friedman Productions, the show will premiere on 14 December.

Asked how the idea for a theatre production came about, Matt Duffer explained: "The idea did not come from us. I don't think I would have had the idea. The idea came from Stephen Daldry."

"Daldry was a big fan of the show and wanted to do a play, but he was so busy with The Crown that I thought this would never happen. Finally a window opened up, he came back and expressed his interest again, and we met up with him and started to talk about what the play could be."

"I think when I first heard play, you immediately think it's going to be a musical of season one or something like that. He was not interested in that kind of thing at all. He wanted to tell a new and original story," he said.

Ross Duffer said the stage show will feel very much like another series of Stranger Things, saying "we've got multiple storylines and strands going on throughout, and they all build to a pretty epic climax".

"So we're excited that it is a play in itself, but it's also using some of the storytelling style that is so much a part of the show".

Ross Duffer said: "I don't see us producing it for television, but we're trying to treat everything in this play as a standalone story. That's how we try to approach it as opposed to just, 'Oh, well, we need to do other shows, or seasons'. We think, no, what is exciting about this and does it work on its own?

Matt Duffer added: "It does very much feel like Stranger Things, but it is so driven by Steven, Kate and Sonia. It is very much its own thing, kind of set in the world of Stranger Things."

"I just I have to pinch myself when I think Stephen Daldry is doing a play based on an idea that we had. It's truly mind-blowing. The fact that it is actually happening now and it's happening soon is surreal."

Despite being in the middle of shooting Stranger Things season five, the brothers are "not missing this play for anything" and will travel to London for opening night.

Stranger Things The First Shadow previews from 17 November, with an official opening night on 14 December 2023 at The Phoenix Theatre.




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From This Author - Aliya Al-Hassan

Aliya Al-Hassan is UK Managing Editor of BroadwayWorld. A London-based theatre critic and journalist, she has a life-long passion for the arts, with a focus on theatre. She is always keen to... (read more about this author)



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