An Officer and a Gentleman the Musical, Preview:
Scotsgay Arts was invited to a special sit-down question and answer session with Oscar Nominated writer and director Douglas Day Stewart ahead of the Scottish Premier of the musical “An Officer and a Gentleman”. The three time Oscar winning movie which Stewart himself has adapted for the stage in collaboration with the Curve Theatre and with acclaimed director Nikolai Foster at the helm it already promises to be something special and a fitting testament to the enduring legacy of the beloved feature film.
An Officer and a Gentleman tell the story of Zack Mayo who is training to become a U.S Navy Pilot. When Zack rolls into boot camp with a bit too much of a swagger, drill Sergeant Foley doesn’t make life easy for him. When he falls for local girl Paula Pokrifki and tragedy befalls his friend and fellow candidate, Zack realises the importance of love and friendship and finds the courage to be himself and win the heart of the woman he loves, its only then that he can truly become and Officer and a Gentleman.
Stewart spoke openly and candidly about his memories of writing the original screenplay, the bulk of which is based on his own experiences of life in the US military during the height of the Vietnam war. His confession that he chose to enter the US Navy as officer was born of a wish to survive the war is a sobering reminder of the cost of not just Vietnam but all wars something not lost on the assembled guests in front of him.
So how does it differ from the big screen? Douglas Day Stewart confirm the original heart and thrust of the story is still present in the stage adaption but a selection of 80’s mega hits have been added for example, “Material Girl”, “ Girls Just wanna have fun”, “Alone”, “Don’t Cry out loud”, and the smash hit signature tune of the movies score “ Up Where We Belong” all feature prominently. Also, while all the main characters are present some have been opened out more fully to explore their stories in deeper detail.
Director Nikolai Foster says “An Officer and a Gentleman delicately charts the lives of working class, military folk in America at the dawning of the 1980’s; important lives, often pushed to the margins of society. We are proud to be working alongside the films creator, producer Jamie Wilson and an incredible creative team to present his beautiful and inspiring story.”
The musical adaption of “An Officer and Gentleman” will tour the UK before venturing into London’s west end, but when asked, is there going to be a sequel movie? Douglas Day Stewart confirmed he is just putting the finishing touches to the screen play, which he will submit to Warner Brothers studio in the next couple of weeks. He reveals the new film will pick up with all the original characters 35 years later with a new love story. One of the stories he is focusing on is the inclusion of a Same sex love story. As the original film was released at time were to be openly LGBTQI+ in the US military was unheard of, it’s a sign of the times that Stewart is willing to embrace the shifting social attitudes even if the current president seeks to reverse the equalities hard won in the military. Day is also keen to support the voices of woman in the film industry and for that he should be applauded.
Hopefully we will see the return of that gentleman soon, meanwhile the raw emotional grittiness that charmed a generation of film goers is now about to charm the Theatre Audiences of the UK and especially those who visit the Edinburgh Playhouse for the Scottish Premier in July. So, let love lift you up where you belong and purchase those tickets now to ensure the best seats.
Jamie Wilson and The Curve Theatre Leicester Presents “An Officer and a Gentleman the Musical”, Monday 2nd – Saturday 7th July 2018. Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh, Tickets from £19.90 go to http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/an-officer-and-a-gentleman-the-musical/edinburgh-playhouse/