LOS ANGELES -- Bob Dylan must be hoping that things have changed.
The first attempt to bring his catalogue to the theatre, "The Times They Are a-Changin'," closed on Broadway after three weeks.
Now the recent Nobel Prize winner is trying again. "Girl From the North Country," which is expected to sample generously from Dylan's vast catalogue, is set to premiere at London's Old Vic Theatre in July, The play is being written by acclaimed Irish writer Conor McPherson who is personally selecting the songs and directing.
Not much is known about the highly-anticipated production aside from statements made by the Old Vic artistic director Matthew Warchus's upon revealing the 2017 lineup.
"“It works rather like a ritual or a church service in that there is dramatic dialogue, story and then you become airborne for a moment in the Bob Dylan music," said Warchus who succeeded Kevin Spacey in 2015. "It is very clever and unique. There’s nothing really to compare it to.”
Despite the amount of secrecy surrounding the project, I was able to squeeze some thoughts out of lead actor Sam Reid, who is also starring in "Tennison," a PBS prequel to its popular "Prime Suspect" series.
Reid confirmed earlier this week that the story will take place in Duluth during the Great Depression and that he'll portray a young man eager to burst out of his seemingly dead-end life.
"It's very depressing," he said with a laugh, adding that he took the role as a departure from the string of wealthy aristocrats and authority figures that he's usually associated with. "I had to let go of some stuff to do this, but this is a very special project."
Reid said it was too early to speculate on details and will know more once the cast starts workshopping the project in February. He doesn't even know if he'll adapt a Minnesota accent, although the Aussie actor assumes that the cast will speak "American."
He wouldn't even confirm what songs might be included, but he's getting familiar with all of the Minnesota bard's work, listening to classics while driving in his car.
He's partial to the "Slow Train Coming" album and has also been impressed by Dylan's often under-appreciated vocal range.
"He's a chameleon," he said. "To hear him sing 'Lay, Lady, Lay' is so different than the vocal sond he's usually identified with."
Reid confesses that he wasn't a Dylan aficionado before landing that the role,but that his parents grew up on his music.
"They're so thrilled," he said.
Does Reid think there's any chance the normally reclusive musician will offer him some personal insight?
"Potentially, Reid said. "I know he and his team have been very supportive."