Joanne Sadler (@joelsa29) discusses the future of the West End bound Musical ‘Finding Neverland’ in light of the recent allegations against its Broadway producer, Harvey Weinstein.
Over the past few days, the news has been bursting with stories regarding the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was one of the world’s most successful film producers, helping to create some of the most iconic films of the last decade. On top of working in the film industry, he has also been active in the theatre industry. Most notably with Finding Neverland, for which he was involved with both the film and the 2013 stage adaptation. With a West End transfer on the horizon, could these allegations cause the project to be scrapped?
As stated before when exploring the Great Comet controversy, I’ll do my best to maintain an unbiased narrative throughout this post, but it’s difficult when there are so few concrete sources available! So far, we’ve learned that Weinstein was fired from the eponymous company (The Weinstein Company) which he had co-founded with his brother and is currently facing numerous allegations regarding sexual harassment. There isn’t much information available on the sensitive situation at present, so we’ll move on.
Weinstein is a well-renowned producer who has received seven Tony awards and worked on dozens of Broadway productions, including The Color Purple, The Producers, Gypsy and, the focus of this article, Finding Neverland. He’s also been involved with many of the most successful musicals to grace Broadway over the last decade, and tends to support his musicals in their endeavours beyond Broadway.
It’s been almost three years since Finding Neverland opened on Broadway. In early 2016, it was announced that Finding Neverland would have a West End transfer and open this year with well-known West End star Alfie Boe as the ambitious protagonist, J.M.Barrie. However, the production was postponed as the show would go through some rewrites. The show’s composer, Gary Barlow, recently stated that they were hoping to open the show in 2018, or possibly early 2019. This, coupled with the recent allegations, give the impression that things aren’t looking good for the show.
With it’s uplifting soundtrack, incredible story and amazing visual effects, the show was bound to be a hit! Especially with Alfie Boe in the cast, it seemed almost impossible for the show to fail. But alas, it’s still has yet to make its West End debut. It’s unclear whether Weinstein would be involved in the London project, yet it seems it now may have put a hold on things, so who knows?
Although it’s uncertain what the future holds for a West End production of Finding Neverland, we can only hope that the Musical can continue without Weinstein while these allegations are being addressed. Is it fair that a show should suffer for the behaviour of one individual? Let us know your opinion in the comments.