Stage shows being made into films has long been a ‘thing’ but these days some of the biggest musicals packing out theatres all over the world started their lives on cinema screens.

With The Full Monty making its way to Bromley’s Churchill Theatre from October 19 to 24, we took at look at some of the best movie-to-musical adaptations...

News Shopper: Gary Lucy, centre, in The Full Monty

The Full Monty

The 1997 British movie about six unemployed northerners who form a male stripping troupe was a heartwarming hit and it’s had a new lease of life on the stage, particularly – but far from limited to - the hen party crowd who can’t wait for a former Hollyoaks star to get his kit off.  Adapted by the film’s screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy, it got positive reviews in its short West End run before touring the country.

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The Lion King

Disney’s 1994 double Oscar winner had all of the right ingredients for a smash hit musical – namely a dazzling score and an epic – not to mention tearjerking story. But that didn’t necessarily  make it easy to adapt. It was, after all, a cartoon about lions. Combining actors, puppets and dance it featured the movie’s music and new songs by Elton John and Tim Rice. It opened on Broadway in 1997 and is one of the New York stage’s most successful shows, winning six Tony awards. It is still running in the West End after 16 years.

News Shopper: Jamie Bell as the original Billy Elliot from the 2000 film
Billy Elliot

Like the Full Monty, this is another heartwarming northern Brit flick – this time directed by Stephen Daldry and about a boy who wants to be a ballet dancer. Billy Elliot the Musical opened in the West End in 2005 and is still running today.

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The Producers

Mel Brooks adapted his own 1968 satirical comedy starring Gene Wilder into a stage show, which opened on Broadway in 2001. Such was the success of the adaptation – it won a record breaking 12 Tony Awards - it got adapted back into a film in 2005, starring Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell. It’s currently touring the UK again and was in Bromley in March.

News Shopper: Carley in Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde

The US comedy film starring Reese Witherspoon as a shallow, ditzy blonde who goes to Harvard to study law in order to win back her boyfriend didn’t scream out for a stage adaptation. But, boy, has it been a success on the stage. Legally Blonde the Musical opened in the West End in 2010 and ran for two years and 974 performances. It won three Olivier Awards with a cast including Sheridan Smith, Peter Davison, Jill Halfpenny and Duncan James.

News Shopper: The Kinky Boots musical is coming to the West End

Kinky Boots

The excellent 2005 comedy-drama film about a drag queen who saves a struggling shoe factory. With songs by Cyndi Lauper, it opened on Broadway in 2013 and earned 13 Tony nominations, winning six. It has just opened in the West End.

News Shopper: Michael has a ball with Hairspray


John Waters’ 1988 rom-com musical starred Ricki Lake, Debbie Harry and Sonny Bono and is about a ‘pleasantly plump’ teenager who pursues stardom as a dancer on a local TV show. It was adapted for the stage in 2002 and was such a hit that the adaptation was adapted again into another film in 2007, which starred John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken. The UK tour will be in Bromley in May.

 The Full Monty is at The Churchill Theatre from October 19 to 24. Go to