Stranger Things season 5 is, unfortunately, still a long ways off. The WGA strike is over, but the SAG-AFTRA strike is ongoing and it’s unclear when it will finally be resolved, meaning we still don’t have a date for when filming will begin on the last season.
But luckily, Netflix has been doing its best to keep things fresh and interesting for fans of their hit series. Between the new Eddie Munson book, tons of fun merchandise, and the upcoming stage play, Stranger Things fans have a bevy of content to look forward to in the coming months.
During Geeked Week 2023, Netflix released more information about the upcoming theatrical production of Stranger Things: The First Shadow, which is a prequel to the series set in Hawkins, 1959, that introduces us to a young Henry Creel and shows us how he became 001. Besides Henry Creel, the play features younger versions of many of our favorite characters, including Joyce Maldonado, James Hopper Jr., and even Bob Newby!
While working in the writer’s room for the fourth season, Ross and Matt Duffer realized they still had a lot more story to tell and they connected with the Tony Award-winning director Stephen Daldry to direct their new project. Fans can anticipate tons of easter eggs from the show, lots of amazing special effects, and plenty of spectacle.
How to get tickets for Stranger Things: The First Shadow
For those interested in seeing the play, you’ll need to head over to the official website where you can book your tickets. Previews start on November 17, 2023 and the production officially begins on December 14, 2023 and will run through August 25, 2024 at the Phoenix Theater on Charing Cross Road in London.
Currently, there are no plans for the show to travel or be performed outside of the show at the Phoenix Theater. That could change in the future, but for now, the best way to see the show is to plan to go to it in London.
Meet the cast of Stranger Things: The First Shadow
No, you won’t be seeing the actual cast of Stranger Things in the play. Since The First Shadow is set in 1959, the characters we’ll see are the younger versions of some of the adults, plus a bunch of new people.
And Eddie fans, while Eddie himself isn’t in the show, his father, Alan Munson, will be a character! Alan is also in the new Eddie book, Flight of Icarus.
- Shane Attwooll as Chief Jim Hopper
- Christopher Buckley as Bob Newby
- Louis McCartney as Henry Creel
- Ella Karuna Williams as Patty Newby
- Isabel Pappas as Joyce Maldonado
- Matthew Pidgeon as Principal Newby
- Calum Ross as Walter Henderson
- Maisie Norma as Claudia Yount
- Patrick Vaill as Dr. Brenner
- Lauren Ward as Virginia Creel
- Chase Brown as Lonnie Byers
- Gilles Greary as Ted Wheeler
- Max Harwood as Alan Munson
- Florence Guy as Karen Childress
- Ammar Duffus as Charles Sinclair
- Kemi Awoderu as Sue Anderson
Anika Boyle, Faith Delaney, and Imogen Turner will alternate in the role of Alice Creel. Additional cast members include Tricia Adele-Turner, Lauren Arney, Samuel Baxter, Reya-Nyomi Brown, Patricia Castro, Lydia Fraser, Isaac Gryn, Mark Hammersley, Benjamin Lafayette, Tom Peters, Kingdom Sibanda, Tiana Simone, Danny Sykes, and Meesha Turner.
On the technical side, here’s who is bringing the play to life!
- Director: Stephen Daldry
- Co-direction by: Justin Martin
- Original story by: The Duffer Brothers, Jack Thorne & Kate Trefry
- Writer: Kate Trefy
Kate Trefy is entrenched in the world of Netflix and Stranger Things. Two of her scripts are both on the Black List, one of them, Pure O, is being adapted at Netflix while her other, Revolver has Stranger Things star Maya Hawke attached to star along with her dad Ethan Hawke. Additionally, Trefy worked with Steve Harrington himself, Joe Keery, in the short film How to Be Alone and she penned the script for Fear Street: 1666.
Netflix released a behind-the-scenes featurette detailing more about what fans can expect from the show during Geeked Week.
What is Stranger Things: The First Shadow about?
As mentioned above, the play is a prequel story and will explore not only the origins of Henry Creel, but also how the Upside Down came to be. We already know the Upside Down’s origins are going to be important to Stranger Things season 5, so we know that the play will provide us with some clues as to what direction the fifth and final season is headed.
In the FAQ on the website, there is a question about whether the show is canon and if it provides clues about season 5, here’s what the answer is:
“The short answer is: yes! Head to the theatre to experience the canon event and see for yourself how everything is connected.”
Hopper and Joyce will be in their senior year of high school, while Henry Creel will be entering as a freshman. The play takes place 24 years before the show. Patty Newby is an important new character and Bob Newby’s sister. The story’s main thrust revolves around Patty and her budding romance with Henry.
Netflix has also provided us with a synopsis of the play, which you can read for yourself below:
Hawkins, 1959: a regular town with regular worries. Young Jim Hopper’s car won’t start, Bob Newby’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn’t so easy… and the shadows of the past have a very long reach.
Brought to life by a multi-award-winning creative team, who take theatrical storytelling and stagecraft to a whole new dimension, this gripping new adventure will take you right back to the beginning of the Stranger Things story – and may hold the key to the end.