Tim Minchin to compose Groundhog Day musical for Old Vic

The creative team behind West End hit Matilda will produce the stage version of Bill Murray's 1993 comedy about a TV weatherman who lives the same day over and over

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Kevin Spacey only stepped down as artistic director of the Old Vic on Sunday but his successor, Matthew Warchus, has already unveiled his first season – including a Groundhog Day musical.

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Based on the 1993 comedy film starring Bill Murray as a curmudgeonly TV weatherman, the stage version will be a collaboration between comedian turned lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling and designer Rob Howell, who worked with Warchus on the hit musical Matilda. 

In the movie, Murray’s character, Phil Connors, is sent to a small town in Pennysylvnnia where he finds himself reliving the same day over and over again. The phrase “Groundhog Day” has since became the dictionary definition of a situation in which a series of unrelenting or tedious events appear to be recurring in exactly the same way.

“It is really about how little time you have to become the best version of yourself”, Warchus told the BBC. “It’s sophisticated meaty stuff in a romantic comedy package.”

“It needs a large audience and a large stage, and I wanted to start it in this country, so it’s the perfect match.” 

Warchus’ first season will also include an adaptation of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, a dance production of Jekyll & Hyde, as well as classics like Ibsen’s The Master Builder, which will star Ralph Fiennes, and Pinter’s The Caretaker, with Timothy Spall.

The Groundhog Day musical will premiere at the Old Vic in June 2016 before transferring to Broadway.

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