Supernatural romance is defined simply as any romantic fiction featuring ghosts, werewolves, vampires or similarly otherworldly characters. Tweens all over the world are going mad for it, but could the West End handle a spooky love story of its own? Should Theatreland be expecting one?
Twilight is, of course, the most famous of the supernatural romance novels but the genre’s popularity goes far beyond the antics of Bella and her sparkly undead beau; entire supernatural/gothic/paranormal romance sections are starting to pop up in bookshops. Books with moody black and red covers are flying off the shelves and young women just can’t seem to get enough of them, but how does this relate to London’s world-famous theatre district?
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Theatre has a habit of picking up trends from other art forms: The recent spate of book and comic-based movie adaptations and remakes of classic films can be easily seen reflected in Broadway and the West End. For example, ten years ago the idea of a Spider-Man musical would be dismissed as ridiculous. Fast forward to 2011 and a multi-million dollar Broadway musical starring everyone’s favourite wall-crawling web-slinger is causing quite a stir on Broadway.
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A great many of the shows currently in the West End are film adaptations. We’ve got Betty Blue Eyes, Billy Elliot, Ghost The Musical, Legally Blonde The Musical, Shrek The Musical, The Lion King, Cool Hand Luke, Driving Miss Daisy and The Ladykillers all running or about to run. With that many film adaptations running (and doing rather well) despite the gloomy economic climate, it surely can’t be long until Twilight or a similarly cult dark romance story finds its way to the West End.
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Until then, shows like Wicked and Ghost The Musical will continue to fill the gap and entertain audiences comprised mainly of young women.
Wicked features a green-skinned witch who, among other things, falls in love with a mysterious prince from a far-off land. Admittedly, the love story is a sub-plot but it is still has a very strong supernatural romance feeling. Unsurprisingly, Wicked has one of the most dedicated fan groups of any West End show.
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Elsewhere in the West End, Ghost The Musical is also catering to the supernatural romance crowd. The story sees a man murdered, but his love for his girlfriend and his wish to protect her prevents him from passing over. The show also features incredible special effects and some truly enchanting songs. Fans of Twilight will adore the powerful love story between a couple who occupy different worlds.
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Wicked and Ghost The Musical have whetted the theatre-going public’s appetite for supernatural romance on stage but the West End is crying out for an unashamed spooky love-fest. Twilight may be too popular to make it on stage, but Linda Lael Miller’s novels would work just as well. As would Christine Feehan’s Carpathians series or pretty much anything by Teresa Medeiros.
The West End is ready, bring on Sexy Vampires: The Musical!
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