Paul McCartney is writing his first musical

Paul McCartney (Image credit: Bradley Page/WPA Pool - Getty)

Paul McCartney (opens in new tab) has revealed he’s working on his first musical project.

The former Beatle is currently putting the pieces in place for a musical stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s Christmas classic It’s A Wonderful Life, which was based on Philip Van Doren Stern’s short story The Greatest Gift.

Macca has teamed up with theatre and film producer Bill Kenwright for the project, with Kenwright initially approaching McCartney with his ideas for the adaptation three years ago after he acquired the rights to the 1946 film.

While Kenwright will produce the show, McCartney has been working on the lyrics with screenwriter and playwright Lee Hall.

McCartney says: “Like many of these things, this all started with an email. Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for. Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me, but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun.

"It’s A Wonderful Life is a universal story we can all relate to.”

Kenwright adds: “Working with Paul on It’s A Wonderful Life is a dream realised. To be honest, I was hooked on first hearing him say, ‘one, two, three, four’ on the demo of the opening number! 

"But since then it’s been an extraordinary journey – on every song I experience Paul’s unique gift of melody and composition. It’s musical theatre – but it’s always McCartney.

“Paul, Lee, and I use the word ‘cherish’ when we refer to our source material and that’s what we intend to do. Cherish Frank Capra’s creation.”

It’s A Wonderful Life is set to launch in late 2020 on a date still to be finalised.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.