British Royal Family

Princess Diana's life story to be made into a musical: Here's everything you need to know

It all starts with a royal wedding for the ages...

By Jess Pullar
It was the year 1981 and the world was watching as the royal event of the decade took place.
We're talking, of course, about the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
So big was this event in fact, that 750 million people around the world tuned in to watch the nuptials take place. And who could blame them?
The wedding, comparable only to the global sensation that was Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 display and the frenzy surrounding Harry and Meghan's big day in May, was a sight to behold.
Here was England's future king marrying his Princess, and the world wanted to see it.
But what came next? Many of us already know the tumultuous events that unfolded in the years following.
Only now, they'll be seen like never before: in an on-stage musical!
Princess Diana's life story is set to be adapted into an on-stage musical.
That's right, the musical, titled Diana, will depict the major life events of the Princess, starting from her royal wedding in 1981.
It will focus on Diana living through her 20s, exploring her relationship with Prince Charles, her relationship with the press, and even the Camilla Parker-Bowles' affair.
The musical's synopsis from theatre company La Jolla Playhouse reads: "Behind the fairytale, there was a troubled marriage and a young woman struggling to find her voice. Facing an entrenched monarchy and unprecedented media scrutiny, Princess Diana surprises everyone—including herself—as she grows into a global phenomenon and manages to change the world."
WATCH: A look into Princess Diana's life before royalty:
Story continues below...
The musical will be performed in California at the Mandell Weiss Theatre and will premiere on February 19 next year, running until March 31.
This week, the actress taking the lead role to play the people's Princess herself was announced: Jeanna de Waal, a British actress who has performed in a number of plays and musicals including Kinky Boots and Wicked.
In a teaser for the show on the theatre's Youtube channel, the blonde actress said: "I feel very daunted by the prospect, but I hope people who didn't know about her and weren't aware of her journey leave the theatre with an idea of what she did for the world."
"She made everyone feel special, from the highest person to the lowest-ranking person, and I think we want to celebrate her."
British actress Jeanna de Waal will play Diana in the musical.
The musical will be directed by Tony Award-winner Christopher Ashley, while the story line itself was written by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan.
Ashley said La Jolla Playhouse was a perfect fit to house the musical, which is sure to turn heads: "It serves as an artistic home to which amazing artists return again and again to develop their work."
He continued: "Among my favourite long-time collaborators are Joe DiPietro and David Bryan – their new musical brings to the stage one of the greatest cultural icons in modern history, and I can't wait to share it with Playhouse audiences next season."
Bryan, who spoke about the musical to Playbill, said the on-stage adaptation will have 23 original songs, and the genre of each will vary between characters.
"Diana is pop-rock, royalty is string quartet, we have paparazzi as punk guitars and we try to make all those roles live on top of each other," he said.
Diana's on-stage original songs will be in "pop-rock" style.
It's not yet confirmed whether the musical will go off-shore but there's certainly potential for it to be performed on the West End in London.
As for Australia? We'll have to hang tight for now, but if the show has plenty of success in California, it may well head to audiences Down Under.