Alexander McCall Smith reveals plans for stage musical

Alexander McCall Smith revealed plans to turn his No 1 Ladies Detective Agency novel into a musical.
Alexander McCall Smith revealed plans to turn his No 1 Ladies Detective Agency novel into a musical.
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Author Alexander McCall Smith has announced he is to turn one of his most successful creations, the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, into a brand new musical.

The prolific writer is joining forces with the leading composer and lyricist Graham Weir, a member of 1980s chart-toppers Orchestral Manouvres in the Dark, on the production.

McCall Smith, a former law professor and Weir, who teaches at Edinburgh Napier University, have known each other for years as the author sponsors a composition prize for students.

Although their show, announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, is said to be a “work in progress” at the moment, the author revealed that talks were underway which would see the show staged on either side of the Atlantic.

News of a musical has been disclosed ahead of the 20th anniversary of the first book in the series next year.

McCall Smith had his first major success with the debut of Precious Ramotswe, the founder of Botswana’s first female-run detective agency.

The series, which will see its 18th instalment, The House of Unexpected Sisters, published next month, has generated more than 20 million in sales for the author.

Weir, who has performed as a session horn player with the likes of Van Morrison, Wet Wet Wet, Jack Bruce, Liberty X, Kate Rusby and Hue and Cry, has taught at Edinburgh Napier since 2001.

McCall Smith said: “Graham and I have known each other for several years through the composition prize which I sponsor, but it is only recently that we’ve put our heads together to create something new.

"We’re having a great time swapping song and story ideas, and the show is shaping up to be something special.”