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New ‘Clockwork Orange’ Musical Features Songs by Anthony Burgess

Did you know that Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark isn’t Bono and The Edge’s first critically reviled musical? Back in 1990, the pair wrote the score for A Clockwork Orange 2004, a Royal Shakespeare Company production with a script written by none other than the cult classic’s author, Anthony Burgess (who later expressed his own disappointment in the show). One reviewer’s judgment that the musical was “a clockwork lemon” pretty much sums up the general reaction. A few other adaptations have followed, ranging from traditional plays to multimedia deconstructions.

But it turns out that Burgess, who died in 1993, wrote his own musicĀ for the 1990 production, which were passed over in favor of the U2 guys’ score. Now, a new version of the musical, timed to coincide with the novel’s 50th anniversary, is in the works and will feature the premiere of Burgess’s songs. International Anthony Burgess Foundation director Andrew Biswell tells the BBC that the music is “pretty close to West Side Story,” explaining, “There’s this scene in prison, where one of the prisoners is kicked to death, which is very throwaway and jolly. That’s completely different from the corresponding episode in the film, which is very gloomy and depressing.” If you plan to be in Manchester next year, this certainly sounds, um… interesting? [via Movieline]

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