Rear Window centres around Jeff (James Stewart), confined to his apartment in a leg cast. Though initially dejected, Jeff becomes entertained by what he sees out of his window and into those of his neighbours. He uncovers something darker than expected, and disjointed scenes across the courtyard slowly build to a fragmentary drama to be pieced together. Jeff’s physical limitations keep the film to one set, leaving the piece easily adaptable for stage without having to scale down the original – often the case with a film-to-stage reworking.
When I first read Moshin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist it seemed immediately theatrical to me. This first person novel details an epically one-sided conversation between the narrator Changez and an American stranger outside a Lahore Café. Starting innocuously enough, Changez maintains a mesmeric and yet unsettling hold on the reader as he confides his life story. This one-act, one-man show is easily transferable to stage and would be a powerful and remarkable story which is subtle yet hugely thought-provoking.
Down and Out is a magnificent account of living on the edge of poverty; admittedly, it isn’t Orwell’s best prose, but it somehow reaches far into the human psyche in a way that none of his more famous and fantastical works do. It creates sympathy, in bucket loads, which is really what theatre is all about. It is a very human work, full of the flaws and failings of mankind, and so would offer something more to the stage than the endless adaptations of Orwell ‘classics’ do. It gives us a new way of seeing ourselves.
With the sheer amount of superhero movies flooding the cinema recently, what I’d love more than anything would be to see a production along the lines of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble adapted for stage. Features such as the suave attitude of Tony Stark, badassery of the Black Widow and Shakespearian charm of Thor lend themselves perfectly to interactions that would be massive amounts of fun to witness on stage. Maybe there should be a production with the taste of a live and tangible human heroism.