The West End has played host to a Harry Potter sequel for years now – so why not a ‘Stranger Things’ prequel, eh? And indeed, there’s a link between ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ and ‘Stranger Things: The First Shadow’: playwright Jack Thorne, a skilled stage adaptor who wrote the former and helped come up with the story to the Stephen Daldry-directed ‘The First Shadow’ alongside the Duffer Brothers – maestros behind the Netflix retro horror smash – and Kate Trefry, a writer on the show who has also written the script here.
There are a lot of balls in the air, basically, but a stage play is a gutsy move and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work with a team like this behind it.
The play, then, is a return to the show’s setting of Hawkins, Indiana, but in 1959 (as opposed to the ’80s). That means we can see some familiar faces in their youths: expect to meet teen versions of Jim Hopper, Bob Newby and Joyce Byers, plus – most intriguingly – Henry Creel, the psychic teen who goes on to become the show’s terrifying antagonist Vecna. His story has already been somewhat told in flashback, so it'll be intriguing to see whether he’s the focal point of ‘The First Shadow’ or if the titular shadow is someone – or something – else.
Tickets go on sale March 30.