A stage adaption of Dan Brown’s controversial but best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code is due to premiere in 2021.
The production, which will open at the Churchhill Theatre in Bromley, on 3 April 2021, is planned to tour around the UK that year. With performances in Birmingham, Sheffield, London, Glasgow and Cardiff, it is hoped that the stage play, adapted from the novel by Luke Sheppard, will capitalise on the success of the 2003 book and 2006 film adaption.
The Da Vinci Code follows an academic researcher, Robert Langdon, as he discovers a millennia-old conspiracy and is pursued by a secret society intent on silencing him. The book and 2006 film adaption, starring Tom Hanks, caused significant controversy for its depiction of the Catholic Church and of the Opus Dei organisation.
The author of the novel, Dan Brown, has welcomed the adaption, written by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel. Brown said: “I am thrilled that The Da Vinci Code is being adapted for the stage, and excited to see the unique potential of live theatre enhance this story.”
The director of the stage adaption, Luke Sheppard, has previously worked on the West End musical Romeo and Juliet. He said that the production “champions dynamic theatrical storytelling and places the audience up close in the heat of this gripping mystery.” Although the production will retain the basic plot of the novel, the producers intend to introduce enough new elements to keep fans of the book and film interested.
The news comes as a number of actors, directors and writers warned that the UK theatre industry stands “at the brink of ruin” due to the coronavirus crisis. In a letter to Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, and Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, the 98 theatre professionals have warned that the collapse of theatres and performing arts more broadly would constitute a “cultural catastrophe”. A report by Oxford University’s Economics faculty has warned that 400,000 jobs could be loss, along with 74 billion in annual revenue across the arts industry, if steps are not taken to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the sector.