Hi Miranda Priestly, I heard you’re a musical now! 

By Paige Tamasi 

If you’re like me then you’ve probably been watching The Devil Wears Prada since its release on Netflix. My flatmates have stumbled upon me watching the Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway blockbusters often enough for them to be slightly concerned. And if you’re even more like me then you love theatre. 

So this is why I’m shocked to learn of The Devil Wears Prada musical only now! The musical made its debut in 2022 and it’s somehow managed to stay off my radar. Opening in London’s Dominion Theatre this October, The Devil Wears Prada The Musical looks to be an immediate hit. Its music is written by Elton John (always a fan favourite) and has lyrics written by the amazing award-winner Shaina Taub. Wait, did I forget to mention that Venessa Williams is staring as Miranda Priestly? Fans may remember her from Into the Woods, Anyone Can Whistle, or Sondheim on Sondheim

The cast and crew for this musical are stacked, not to mention the plot is a classic and a cult favourite among many. The trailer release for the show’s debut at the Dominion stays true and accurate to the original film, including Miranda’s iconic office and “The Book”. I’m excited to see where Jerry Mitcher (director and choreographer) will take this adaption of the iconic film. 

Stage adaptations of loved films have oftentimes been…slightly controversial. Just look at Mean Girls The Musical. Many fans love it whilst others brought it down for its “subpar” lyrics. And other musicals based on films have also faced this problem. But why? Why are so many people negative about musical adaptations? 

The issue may stem from the fact that oftentimes the adaptations are of famous, beloved movies, like Mean Girls, in which people are protective of the original script and feel of the movie, making it difficult for musical adaptations to be judged by themselves. When directors and playwrights adjust scripts from movies to theatre they, naturally, change various aspects, but this lights fires of rage in long-term fans. Or the inverse, if directors don’t change the script at all, then the rage of theatre fans is ignited as they criticise the decision to view the stage as just a non-recorded movie. 

There is also the issue of the stage vs. the movie. Film and theatre are two different mediums, and treating them as the same, or easily transferable from one to the other, ignores the intricacies of each respective storytelling mode. What this essentially means is what may work as a movie may not work as a play and vice versa. If you’ve ever read a Shakespeare play and then watched it, the story probably made more sense when performed live because that’s the medium it was written for. It’s the same thing with movies and musicals. Some plots naturally work in a musical format and some just don’t. 

Now I’m not trying to say that The Devil Wears Prada The Musical is going to be bad —that would be pessimistic— but I do want everyone who, like me, is extremely excited about this musical, to go into it with the idea that it will, and should, be different to the movie because its a musical and not a movie remake.

Written by Paige Tamasi, Edited by Chloe Hayler, Photography and artwork by Paige TamasiPublished by Paige Tamasi.