How do you turn hit musicals like Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Dear Evan Hansen into films? You axe songs, throw out plots and don’t worry about anyone’s favourite bit

Choosing a stage musical to see right now can feel like browsing the cinema listings of the 1980s and 90s. Pretty Woman and Back to the Future are playing across the street from one another in London’s West End, with The Lion King, Matilda and Heathers nearby. Indecent Proposal opens next month.

The speed of traffic travelling in the opposite direction, from stage to screen, tends to be a little faster, though. A film of Dear Evan Hansen, the Broadway hit about an anxious, alienated student who pretends to have been friends with a suicide victim, has arrived only five years after it opened, with Julianne Moore and Amy Adams among the cast. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which follows a 16-year-old budding drag queen from Sheffield, has taken just four years, picking up Richard E Grant and Sharon Horgan along the way.

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