Gone With The Wind

Musical adapted from the novel by Margaret Mitchell.

1972: Gone with the Wind adapted by Harold Rome and Horton Foote

2008: Gone with the Wind adapted by Margaret Martin and Trevor Nunn

Author Margaret Mitchell began writing Gone with the Wind out of sheer boredom whilst convalescing at home in Atlanta following an ankle injury in 1926. Having exhausted the supply of reading material from her local library, the 26 year old born-and-bred Georgian decided to accept her husband's challenge of writing her own book. And a literary landmark was born. Three years and 1,000 pages later, the novel was virtually complete - save for the title and a missing first chapter though Mitchell downplayed the manuscript's merit, deeming it to be of little interest to anybody else and allowing no one but her husband to read it. Finally, in 1935 she was persuaded to allow the editor-in-chief of Macmillan, Harold Latham to take a look at. Although Mitchell wanted the manuscript to be returned, she was persuaded to sign a publishing contract for the book, and after six months of editing and fact-checking, Gone with the Wind was finally published in 1936 and over one million copies were sold within the first six months - the novel went to the top of the bestseller lists for two years and in 1937, Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Hollywood producer David O Selznick bought the film rights and the film, starring Clark Gable as 'Rhett Butler' and Vivian Leigh as 'Scarlett O'Hara', premiered in 1939 going on to win a then record-breaking 11 Oscars. Sadly on 11 August 1949, at the age of 48, Mitchell was hit by a car and fell into a coma. She died five days later. Although she only published one novel in her lifetime, to date it has sold more the 28 million copies and was the bestselling novel of the 20th century.


1972: Gone with the Wind adapted by Harold Rome and Horton Foote

Previewed 26 April 1972, Opened 3 May 1972, Closed 7 April 1973 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Musical with music and lyrics by Harold Rome, and book by Horton Foote, based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell.

The original cast featured Harve Presnell as 'Rhett Butler', June Ritchie as 'Scarlett O'Hara', Harry Goodier as 'Gerald O'Hara', Patricia Michael as 'Melanie Hamilton', Ian Hanson as 'Charles Hamilton', Isabelle Lucas as 'Mammy', Marlon Ramsey as 'Prissy', Robert Swann as 'Ashley Wilkes', Bessie Love as 'Aunt Pittypat', Doreen Hermitage as 'Belle Watling', Ronald Adam as 'Doctor Meade', Brian Davies as 'Frank Kennedy', Andrew Norman as 'Stuart Tarleton', Berry Winsett as 'Mrs Tarleton', Bill Drysdale as 'Contractor', Carlo Mansi as 'Mr Merriwether', Carolyn Gray as 'Mrs Taylor', Christopher Beeching as 'Brent Tarleton', Clare Fern as 'Cathleen Calvert'/'Mrs Abernathy', Cynthia Morey as 'Mrs Meade', David Hepburn as 'Tom Tarleton', Doreen Croft as 'Ellen O'Hara', Dudley Owen as 'John Wilkes', Elizabeth Lowry as 'A Child', Geoffrey Collins as 'Yankee Deserter', Glyn Adams as 'Mr Elsing', Jeanette Ranger as 'Randa Tarleton', Jenny Kearney as 'Honey Wilkes', Joyce Rae as 'Sally Munroe', Lyn Douglas as 'Mrs Merriwether', Mary Chilton as 'Careen O'Hara', Matt Zimmerman as 'Yankee Guard', Melanie Parr as 'Suellen O'Hara', Mercia Glossop as 'Mrs Elsing', Minoo Golvala as 'Mr Parker', Patricia Hall as 'Mrs Whiting', Peter Rhodes as 'Station Master', Petra Siniawski as 'India Wilkes', Sean Bartley as 'Cade Calvert', Stephen Holtom as 'Boyd Tarleton', Terry Mitchell as 'Phil Meade', Alan Quashi, Anni Domingo, Berwick Kaler, Chris Blackwell, David Selwyn, Donald Britton, Eddie Sommer, Eileen Bates, Florilyn Waddell, Gillian Shepherd, Jane Bartlett, Jeffery Benton, Jeremy Wallis, Joanna Horlock, Kim Leon, Lorenza Johnson, Maurice Lane, Neville Ware, Nigel Winder, Paddy McIntyre, Peter Boyce, Philip Graham ,Richard de Meath, Roger Farrant, and Sam Mansaray. The role of 'Bonnie' (aged 2) was shared by Angela Gillett, Sharon Smith, Susan King, and Zoe Caryl. The role of 'Bonnie' (aged 5) was shared by Bonnie Langford, Celina Frediani, Lusia Frediani, and Romana Kyriakou.

Directed and choreographed by Joe Layton, with sets by David Hays and Tim Goodchild, costumes by Patton Campbell, and lighting by Richard Pilbrow.

The first preview in Wednesday 26 April 1972 was a Royal Charity Gala attended by HRH The Princess Anne, in aid of The World Wildlife Fund. In total there where four evening previews on Wednesday 26, Friday 28, Saturday 29 April, and Tuesday 2 May 1972.


2008: Gone with the Wind adapted by Margaret Martin and Trevor Nunn

Previewed 5 April 2008, Opened 22 April 2008, Closed 14 June 2008 at the New London Theatre (now Gillian Lynne Theatre)

A major new stage musical adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind in London

Musical with music, lyrics and book by Margaret Martin, adapted by Trevor Nunn from the novel by Margaret Mitchell.

The cast featured Jill Paice as 'Scarlett O'Hara', Darius Danesh (Darius Campbell) as 'Rhett Butler', Edward Baker-Duly as 'Ashley Wilkes', Madeleine Worral as 'Melanie Hamilton', Natasha Yvette Williams as 'Mammy', Jina Burrows as 'Prissy', Julian Forsyth as 'Gerald O'Hara', Susannah Fellows as 'Ellen O'Hara'/'Mrs Elsing', Alan Vicary as 'Frank Kennedy', Alan Winner as 'Cade Calvert'/'Darcy Meade', Chris Jarman as 'Big Sam', David Roberts as 'Charles Hamilton'/'Hugh Elsing', Derek Hagan as 'Tony Fontaine'/'Cary Ashburn'/'Captain Jaffery'/'Mr Flaherty', Gareth Chart as 'Stuart Tarleton', Gemma Sutton as 'Careen O'Hara'/'Jane Hall', Ian Conningham as 'Will Benteen'/'Paul Wilson'/'Willy Guinan', Jacqueline Boatswain as 'Dilcey', Janessa Qua as 'Cookie', Jeff Shankley as 'Dr Meade'/'John Wilkes', Kathryn Akin as 'Mrs Meade', Kirsty Hoiles as 'India Wilkes', Laura Checkley as 'Dimity Munro'/'Maybelle Merriwether'/'Mrs Caraham', Leon Herbert as 'Uncle Peter'/'Toby', Lorraine Chappell as 'Honey'/'Jennifer Sounder'/'Emmie Slattery'/'Mrs Flaherty', Ray Shell as 'Pork', Rosalind James as 'Rosa', Savannah Stevenson as 'Catherine'/'Fanny Elsing', Susan Jane Tanner as 'Aunt Pittypat', Susan Tracy as 'Mrs Merriwether', Tober Reilly as 'Jonas Wilderson'/'Rene Picard', Tom Sellwood as 'Brent Tarleton', Emily Bryant, Horace Oliver, Chloe-Jean Bishop, Christoher Ragland, and Nolan Frederick.

Madeleine Worrall's London theatre credits include the title role in Fiona Laird's production of Stephen Fry's pantomime Cinderella at the Old Vic Theatre in 2007; 'Shirley' in Denis Lawson's revival of Bill MacIlwraith's The Anniversary at the Garrick Theatre in 2005; and 'Irina' in Michael Blakemore's revival of Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters at the Playhouse Theatre in 2003.

Susannah Fellows' London theatre credits include the roles of 'Minnie Sayre' in Craig Revel Horwood's production of the Roger Cook and Les Reed musical Beautiful and Damned at the Lyric Theatre in 2004; 'Tanya' in Phyllida Lloyd's production of Catherine Johnson's ABBA musical Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward Theatre in 2002; 'Mrs Darling'/'Never Bird' in John Caird and Fiona Laird's revivl of John Caird and Trevor Nunn's adaptation of JM Barrie's Peter Pan at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre in 1998; 'Alaura Kingsley'/'Carla Haywood' in Michael Blakemore's production of the Cy Coleman and David Zippel musical City of Angels at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1993; 'Rose Vilbert' in Trevor Nunn's production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, and Charles Hart musical Aspects of Love at the Prince of Wales Theatre in 1989 and 1992; and 'Lady Jacqueline Carstone' in Mike Ockrent's revival of Noel Gay's Me and My Girl at the Adelphi Theatre in 1985.

Directed by Trevor Nunn, with choreography by David Bolger, sets by John Napier, costumes by Andreane Neofitou, lighting by Neil Austin, and sound by Paul Groothuis.

"Margaret Mitchell's novel ought in its long-awaited stage incarnation to be the most commercial production in all London, perhaps the whole world. This is, after all, a very strong and much-loved brand that we are talking about. And yet the fact is, it isn't at all commercial. Sir Trevor, as the play's director, has been ridiculously uncommercial - or to put it another way, self indulgent... I have an idea that he wanted to make this production look and sound a bit like the Porgy and Bess he directed at the Savoy in 2006 to considerable acclaim. Alas, Margaret Martin, his composer this time round, is no George Gershwin. You would think in all the time this play runs she would come up with at least one hummable song, but alas not. Then there is the former Pop Idol contestant Darius Danesh and Jill Paice in the roles of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara. Frankly, my dear, they are all ham.... The other principal roles seem perversely cast. Edward Baker-Duly, a young gentleman who looks very much like an Australian surfer with his bottle blond hair, plays Ashley Wilkes... Julian Forsyth, as Scarlett's father, appears to be doing a takeoff of the late Welsh actor Hugh Griffith." The Sunday Telegraph

"It's hard to get worked up about Margaret Martin's musicalisation of Margaret Mitchell's magnificent romantic epic because it wholly fails to blow one away. It's less Gone With The Wind than Marooned On A Millpond. Not bad, just tedious. Martin frames the tale in the style pioneered by the Royal Shakespeare Company in the Eighties for Nicholas Nickleby, with the narrative shared between several characters. But the story grinds to a halt whenever the music starts... Much of the dialogue is lifted verbatim from the film and none of the characters has been re-examined afresh... Jill Paice is pretty and pert, but we neither laugh at her nor cry with her, and she remains stubbornly resistible. Our hearts belong instead to Natasha Yvette Williams' Mammy and to Darius Danesh as the dashing daredevil Rhett Butler, whose voice could charm the birds from the trees." The Mail on Sunday

Margaret Martin, who wrote the book, music and lyrics for Gone with the Wind the Musical, earned a doctorate in public health from UCLA in community health science and a masters degree in both behavioural science/health education and in population and family health, also from UCLA's School of Public Health. Margaret Martin studied music theory at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. She is founder of the Harmony Project, a non-profit organisation based in Los Angeles that provides musical instruments and on-going tuition - a free music education to nearly 400 children from low-income LA-area families. Margaret Martin plans to establish Harmony Project programmes in inner cities throughout the country. Margaret Martin supported herself from the age of 15. As a single mother, she identified closely with the challenges faced by Gone with the Wind's young protagonist, Scarlett O'Hara. She also felt the filmed adaptation left considerable more within Margaret Mitchell's epic tale to be explored. Margaret Martin developed Gone with the Wind for the musical theatre on her own. She brought the project to Trevor Nunn after she had acquired the rights to the property from the Mitchell Trust. This is her first play.

The musical Gone with the Wind in London at the New London Theatre previewed from 5 April 2008, opened on 22 April 2008, and closed on 14 June 2008