Elton John Plans 'Animal Farm' Musical

Billy Elliot' team "deep into" new show based on Orwell classic

July 23, 2010 5:56 PM ET

Elton John and writer Lee Hall are reportedly teaming up for a new stage show based on George Orwell's Animal Farm. "I'm deep into it, writing songs for pigs and other four-legged friends," Hall told The Daily Mail about penning songs based on Orwell's satire about the Stalinism era. "It's taken about two years. We almost gave up, but there was always that one last license to go after." Hall added that he and John have yet to acquire the necessary rights to stage a musical based on Orwell's book and that the show is at least two years away from the production stages.

Keep up with rock's latest news in Random Notes.

John and Hall have worked together in the past — the two last collaborated on the musical Billy Elliot — and Hall says the two have got their creative process down to a science. "I know that Elton likes to have the lyrics done and have them in front of him so I'll work on a batch before I give him anything to look at," Hall said.

Orwell's novella may seem like an odd choice for a musical, but Elton isn't the first musician to try and turn the works of Orwell into a rock opera: David Bowie once hoped to turn Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four into a musical, but the Orwell estate rejected his proposal. Instead, Bowie used many of the songs he penned for the musical to lay the groundwork for Diamond Dogs, which included a song called "1984."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »