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Fans thrilled after Miranda Priestly actor revealed for the new The Devil Wears Prada musical

Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada  (Twentieth Century Fox)
Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada (Twentieth Century Fox)

If an Elton John-scored musical version of the fashion comedy The Devil Wears Prada seems like the kind of heady (and improbable) collaboration you and your mates might dream up after your second negroni on a Friday night, you’re not alone.

But this incredible match up is no longer a distant fantasy; a new stage adaptation of the 2006 film is set to open in London’s West End next year, with music by Elton John, lyrics by award-winning American musician Shaina Taub and with a script written by actor-writer Kate Wetherhead.

As if that wasn’t all, it has now been revealed who will play Miranda Priestly – the terrifying editor-in-chief of Runway magazine. Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty actor Vanessa Williams will be stepping into the role.

The casting is the stuff of pop culture dreams: in Ugly Betty, Williams played former supermodel and modelling agency boss Wilhelmina Slater whose managerial style mirrored that of Priestly’s. The two ferocious fashion heads have long been compared by fans – with most concluding that both are, simply, absolute legends.

With Williams now set to step into the iconic film role, which was famously played by Meryl Streep, the crossover has been sending TV, movie and stage devotees into a frenzy online.

“OMG. I knew it. This is ICONIC,” said one. “OMFG sell me every single ticket!” said another.

Gird your loins and don your cerulean sweaters, because the new production, which is being directed and choreographed by three-time Tony award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), will premiere at London’s Dominion Theatre in October. The show is also set to have previews at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth from July.

For fans of the Rocketman, the Anne Hathaway-starring classic film, and the original 2003 novel by Lauren Weisberger, the production may have felt like it was moving at a glacial pace. After all, it was announced way back in 2019 that the musical would premiere in Chicago in the summer of 2020, before opening on Broadway. But, of course, the pandemic arrived with other ideas, and the show was indefinitely delayed.

Now, four years later, all the high drama and high fashion is coming to England’s capital. As with the book, and the hit film which starred Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci, the story will again focus on graduate Andy Sachs, who falls head first into the fashion industry when she is hired as the junior assistant to Runway editor-in-chief, Miranda Priestly. It’s a demanding but much coveted role – and everybody wants to be her – but her personal relationships start to suffer.

That’s all. For now – wider casting for the production is yet to be announced.

“Re-imagining The Devil Wears Prada for the musical theater is super-exciting,” said John in a statement when the production was first announced back in 2017. “I’m a huge fan of both the book and the feature film, and a huge aficionado of the fashion world. I can’t wait to sink my musical teeth into this hunk of popular culture.”

Taub was similarly thrilled. Speaking to Deadline in 2019 the musician said, “I loved the movie, I always have, always thought it would be an amazing musical. I went to London earlier this summer and wrote the first batch of songs with Elton.

“He’s an incredible artist and so kind, and so open, and so collaborative, and it’s just been a really powerful experience to work with a legend who really is an artist who loves making music and loves to collaborate with new people.”

Since leaving Desperate Housewives in 2012, Williams has starred in The Librarians (2016-2017), Daytime Divas (2017), Me, Myself & I (2018) and has featured as a main judge on the drag queen singing competition show Queen of the Universe (2021-2023).

The Devil Wears Prada, Dominion Theatre, tickets available now: devilwearspradamusical.com. For previews in Plymouth: theatreroyal.com

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