‘A Clockwork Orange,’ The Musical: Yes, It’s Happening

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A Clockwork Orange will hit the stage in England in the form of a musical to mark the 50th anniversary of the Anthony Burgess novel.

The extent of the “ultra-violence” of the stage show will surely be an instinctive question to those familiar with the book, or Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation. The story is littered with extreme violence, rape, and sexual fantasy. The film itself, featuring violence, rape and repeated full-frontal nudity, was withdrawn from distribution for 27 years in Great Britain after its 1971 release.

(LIST: Top 10 Ridiculously Violent Movies)

Burgess himself, who died in 1993, wrote the music for the stage show. Burgess was a keen composer as well as an author; the director of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Andrew Biswell, told the BBC that the music “establishes a tone and mood” and is “pretty close to West Side Story.”

Music plays a key role in both the book and film, as classical music is a passion of the violent protagonist, Alex. The script has been performed before, in 1990, by the Royal Shakespeare Company, however, it rejected Burgess’ music and instead chose to feature music by Bono and The Edge of U2. And those two went straight from Kubrick to Spider-Man, with varying success.