Mackintosh makes ‘Private’ public

New tuner is based on 1984 Brit screen comedy

Cameron Mackintosh will produce a new stage musical based on the 1984 British screen comedy “A Private Function,” originally scripted by Alan Bennett.

Project reunites the producer with composer George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe, his collaborators on the Mackintosh/Disney musical “Mary Poppins,” now running on Broadway and in a North American tour.

Book for the new show is being adapted by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, writers and exec producers on the U.S. version of cable series “Queer as Folk.”

Set in post-WWII small-town England, “A Private Function” centers on a plan by a group of local businessmen to circumvent food rationing by stealing an illegally raised pig to be served at a royal banquet.

Maggie Smith, Michael Palin, Liz Smith, Denholm Elliott, Richard Griffiths, Alison Steadman and Pete Postlethwaite starred in the film, directed by Malcolm Mowbray.

While the show has had a staged reading in London, no director or cast has been announced. Planned timeline is for a four-week run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds in early 2011 followed by a West End bow later that spring.

Project marks a turnaround for Mackintosh, who had said publicly after his 2000 production of “The Witches of Eastwick” at Theater Royal Drury Lane that he would not produce another brand new musical. This will be his first solo new tuner since then; his other recent work has consisted of revivals or revamps, such as “Mary Poppins.”

Mackintosh became one of the world’s most successful legit producers with his string of massive 1980s hits, including “Les Miserables,” “Cats,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Miss Saigon.”

(David Benedict in London contributed to this report.)

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